Luo, Haipeng, Agarwal, Alekh, Cesa-Bianchi, Nicolò, Langford, John

We propose Sketched Online Newton (SON), an online second order learning algorithm that enjoys substantially improved regret guarantees for ill-conditioned data. SON is an enhanced version of the Online Newton Step, which, via sketching techniques enjoys a running time linear in the dimension and sketch size. We further develop sparse forms of the sketching methods (such as Oja's rule), making the computation linear in the sparsity of features. Together, the algorithm eliminates all computational obstacles in previous second order online learning approaches.

Gower, Robert, Koralev, Dmitry, Lieder, Felix, Richtarik, Peter

We develop a randomized Newton method capable of solving learning problems with huge dimensional feature spaces, which is a common setting in applications such as medical imaging, genomics and seismology. Our method leverages randomized sketching in a new way, by finding the Newton direction constrained to the space spanned by a random sketch. We develop a simple global linear convergence theory that holds for practically all sketching techniques, which gives the practitioners the freedom to design custom sketching approaches suitable for particular applications. We perform numerical experiments which demonstrate the efficiency of our method as compared to accelerated gradient descent and the full Newton method. Our method can be seen as a refinement and a randomized extension of the results of Karimireddy, Stich, and Jaggi (2019).

Gower, Robert, Hanzely, Filip, Richtarik, Peter, Stich, Sebastian U.

We present the first accelerated randomized algorithm for solving linear systems in Euclidean spaces. One essential problem of this type is the matrix inversion problem. In particular, our algorithm can be specialized to invert positive definite matrices in such a way that all iterates (approximate solutions) generated by the algorithm are positive definite matrices themselves. This opens the way for many applications in the field of optimization and machine learning. As an application of our general theory, we develop the first accelerated (deterministic and stochastic) quasi-Newton updates. Our updates lead to provably more aggressive approximations of the inverse Hessian, and lead to speed-ups over classical non-accelerated rules in numerical experiments. Experiments with empirical risk minimization show that our rules can accelerate training of machine learning models.

Gower, Robert, Hanzely, Filip, Richtarik, Peter, Stich, Sebastian U.

Dereziński, Michał, Bartan, Burak, Pilanci, Mert, Mahoney, Michael W.

In distributed second order optimization, a standard strategy is to average many local estimates, each of which is based on a small sketch or batch of the data. However, the local estimates on each machine are typically biased, relative to the full solution on all of the data, and this can limit the effectiveness of averaging. Here, we introduce a new technique for debiasing the local estimates, which leads to both theoretical and empirical improvements in the convergence rate of distributed second order methods. Our technique has two novel components: (1) modifying standard sketching techniques to obtain what we call a surrogate sketch; and (2) carefully scaling the global regularization parameter for local computations. Our surrogate sketches are based on determinantal point processes, a family of distributions for which the bias of an estimate of the inverse Hessian can be computed exactly. Based on this computation, we show that when the objective being minimized is $l_2$-regularized with parameter $\lambda$ and individual machines are each given a sketch of size $m$, then to eliminate the bias, local estimates should be computed using a shrunk regularization parameter given by $\lambda^{\prime}=\lambda\cdot(1-\frac{d_{\lambda}}{m})$, where $d_{\lambda}$ is the $\lambda$-effective dimension of the Hessian (or, for quadratic problems, the data matrix).