skip to main content


Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Liu, Zijian"

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. In this work, we describe a generic approach to show convergence with high probability for both stochastic convex and non-convex optimization with sub-Gaussian noise. In previous works for convex optimization, either the convergence is only in expectation or the bound depends on the diameter of the domain. Instead, we show high probability convergence with bounds depending on the initial distance to the optimal solution. The algorithms use step sizes analogous to the standard settings and are universal to Lipschitz functions, smooth functions, and their linear combinations. The method can be applied to the non-convex case. We demonstrate an $O((1+\sigma^{2}\log(1/\delta))/T+\sigma/\sqrt{T})$ convergence rate when the number of iterations $T$ is known and an $O((1+\sigma^{2}\log(T/\delta))/\sqrt{T})$ convergence rate when $T$ is unknown for SGD, where $1-\delta$ is the desired success probability. These bounds improve over existing bounds in the literature. We also revisit AdaGrad-Norm \cite{ward2019adagrad} and show a new analysis to obtain a high probability bound that does not require the bounded gradient assumption made in previous works. The full version of our paper contains results for the standard per-coordinate AdaGrad. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 23, 2024
  2. In this work, we describe a generic approach to show convergence with high probability for both stochastic convex and non-convex optimization with sub-Gaussian noise. In previous works for convex optimization, either the convergence is only in expectation or the bound depends on the diameter of the domain. Instead, we show high probability convergence with bounds depending on the initial distance to the optimal solution. The algorithms use step sizes analogous to the standard settings and are universal to Lipschitz functions, smooth functions, and their linear combinations. The method can be applied to the non-convex case. We demonstrate an $O((1+\sigma^{2}\log(1/\delta))/T+\sigma/\sqrt{T})$ convergence rate when the number of iterations $T$ is known and an $O((1+\sigma^{2}\log(T/\delta))/\sqrt{T})$ convergence rate when $T$ is unknown for SGD, where $1-\delta$ is the desired success probability. These bounds improve over existing bounds in the literature. We also revisit AdaGrad-Norm (Ward et al., 2019) and show a new analysis to obtain a high probability bound that does not require the bounded gradient assumption made in previous works. The full version of our paper contains results for the standard per-coordinate AdaGrad. 
    more » « less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 23, 2024
  3. Existing analysis of AdaGrad and other adaptive methods for smooth convex optimization is typically for functions with bounded domain diameter. In unconstrained problems, previous works guarantee an asymptotic convergence rate without an explicit constant factor that holds true for the entire function class. Furthermore, in the stochastic setting, only a modified version of AdaGrad, different from the one commonly used in practice, in which the latest gradient is not used to update the stepsize, has been analyzed. Our paper aims at bridging these gaps and developing a deeper understanding of AdaGrad and its variants in the standard setting of smooth convex functions as well as the more general setting of quasar convex functions. First, we demonstrate new techniques to explicitly bound the convergence rate of the vanilla AdaGrad for unconstrained problems in both deterministic and stochastic settings. Second, we propose a variant of AdaGrad for which we can show the convergence of the last iterate, instead of the average iterate. Finally, we give new accelerated adaptive algorithms and their convergence guarantee in the deterministic setting with explicit dependency on the problem parameters, improving upon the asymptotic rate shown in previous works. 
    more » « less
  4. Existing analysis of AdaGrad and other adaptive methods for smooth convex optimization is typically for functions with bounded domain diameter. In unconstrained problems, previous works guarantee an asymptotic convergence rate without an explicit constant factor that holds true for the entire function class. Furthermore, in the stochastic setting, only a modified version of AdaGrad, different from the one commonly used in practice, in which the latest gradient is not used to update the stepsize, has been analyzed. Our paper aims at bridging these gaps and developing a deeper understanding of AdaGrad and its variants in the standard setting of smooth convex functions as well as the more general setting of quasar convex functions. First, we demonstrate new techniques to explicitly bound the convergence rate of the vanilla AdaGrad for unconstrained problems in both deterministic and stochastic settings. Second, we propose a variant of AdaGrad for which we can show the convergence of the last iterate, instead of the average iterate. Finally, we give new accelerated adaptive algorithms and their convergence guarantee in the deterministic setting with explicit dependency on the problem parameters, improving upon the asymptotic rate shown in previous works. 
    more » « less
  5. In this paper, we study the finite-sum convex optimization problem focusing on the general convex case. Recently, the study of variance reduced (VR) methods and their accelerated variants has made exciting progress. However, the step size used in the existing VR algorithms typically depends on the smoothness parameter, which is often unknown and requires tuning in practice. To address this problem, we propose two novel adaptive VR algorithms: Adaptive Variance Reduced Accelerated Extra-Gradient (AdaVRAE) and Adaptive Variance Reduced Accelerated Gradient (AdaVRAG). Our algorithms do not require knowledge of the smoothness parameter. AdaVRAE uses $\mathcal{O}\left(n\log\log n+\sqrt{\frac{n\beta}{\epsilon}}\right)$ and AdaVRAG uses $\mathcal{O}\left(n\log\log n+\sqrt{\frac{n\beta\log\beta}{\epsilon}}\right)$ gradient evaluations to attain an $\mathcal{O}(\epsilon)$-suboptimal solution, where $n$ is the number of functions in the finite sum and $\beta$ is the smoothness parameter. This result matches the best-known convergence rate of non-adaptive VR methods and it improves upon the convergence of the state of the art adaptive VR method, AdaSVRG. We demonstrate the superior performance of our algorithms compared with previous methods in experiments on real-world datasets. 
    more » « less
  6. Chaudhuri, Kamalika ; Jegelka, Stefanie ; Song, Le ; Szepesvari, Csaba ; Niu, Gang ; Sabato, Sivan (Ed.)
    Reinforcement learning (RL) has demonstrated remarkable achievements in simulated environments. However, carrying this success to real environments requires the important attribute of robustness, which the existing RL algorithms often lack as they assume that the future deployment environment is the same as the training environment (i.e. simulator) in which the policy is learned. This assumption often does not hold due to the discrepancy between the simulator and the real environment and, as a result, and hence renders the learned policy fragile when deployed. In this paper, we propose a novel distributionally robust Q-learning algorithm that learns the best policy in the worst distributional perturbation of the environment. Our algorithm first transforms the infinite-dimensional learning problem (since the environment MDP perturbation lies in an infinite-dimensional space) into a finite-dimensional dual problem and subsequently uses a multi-level Monte-Carlo scheme to approximate the dual value using samples from the simulator. Despite the complexity, we show that the resulting distributionally robust Q-learning algorithm asymptotically converges to optimal worst-case policy, thus making it robust to future environment changes. Simulation results further demonstrate its strong empirical robustness. 
    more » « less