Timezone: »

Faster Perturbed Stochastic Gradient Methods for Finding Local Minima
Zixiang Chen · Dongruo Zhou · Quanquan Gu
Escaping from saddle points and finding local minimum is a central problem in nonconvex optimization. Perturbed gradient methods are perhaps the simplest approach for this problem. However, to find $(\epsilon, \sqrt{\epsilon})$-approximate local minima, the existing best stochastic gradient complexity for this type of algorithms is $\tilde O(\epsilon^{-3.5})$, which is not optimal. In this paper, we propose \texttt{Pullback}, a faster perturbed stochastic gradient framework for finding local minima. We show that Pullback with stochastic gradient estimators such as SARAH/SPIDER and STORM can find $(\epsilon, \epsilon_{H})$-approximate local minima within $\tilde O(\epsilon^{-3} + \epsilon_{H}^{-6})$ stochastic gradient evaluations (or $\tilde O(\epsilon^{-3})$ when $\epsilon_H = \sqrt{\epsilon}$). The core idea of our framework is a step-size ``pullback'' scheme to control the average movement of the iterates, which leads to faster convergence to the local minima.

Author Information

Zixiang Chen (UCLA)
Dongruo Zhou (UCLA)
Quanquan Gu (UCLA)

More from the Same Authors