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Dasgupta, Sanjoy ; Haghtalab, Nika (Ed.)Convex-concave min-max problems are ubiquitous in machine learning, and people usually utilize first-order methods (e.g., gradient descent ascent) to find the optimal solution. One feature which separates convex-concave min-max problems from convex minimization problems is that the best known convergence rates for min-max problems have an explicit dependence on the size of the domain, rather than on the distance between initial point and the optimal solution. This means that the convergence speed does not have any improvement even if the algorithm starts from the optimal solution, and hence, is oblivious to the initialization. Here, we show that strict-convexity-strict-concavity is sufficient to get the convergence rate to depend on the initialization. We also show how different algorithms can asymptotically achieve initialization-dependent convergence rates on this class of functions. Furthermore, we show that the so-called “parameter-free” algorithms allow to achieve improved initialization-dependent asymptotic rates without any learning rate to tune. In addition, we utilize this particular parameter-free algorithm as a subroutine to design a new algorithm, which achieves a novel non-asymptotic fast rate for strictly-convex-strictly-concave min-max problems with a growth condition and Hölder continuous solution mapping. Experiments are conducted to verify our theoretical findings and demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithms.more » « less
Dasgupta, Sanjoy ; Haghtalab, Nika (Ed.)Parameter-free algorithms are online learning algorithms that do not require setting learning rates. They achieve optimal regret with respect to the distance between the initial point and any competitor. Yet, parameter-free algorithms do not take into account the geometry of the losses. Recently, in the stochastic optimization literature, it has been proposed to instead use truncated linear lower bounds, which produce better performance by more closely modeling the losses. In particular, truncated linear models greatly reduce the problem of overshooting the minimum of the loss function. Unfortunately, truncated linear models cannot be used with parameter-free algorithms because the updates become very expensive to compute. In this paper, we propose new parameter-free algorithms that can take advantage of truncated linear models through a new update that has an “implicit” flavor. Based on a novel decomposition of the regret, the new update is efficient, requires only one gradient at each step, never overshoots the minimum of the truncated model, and retains the favorable parameter-free properties. We also conduct an empirical study demonstrating the practical utility of our algorithms.more » « less