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Acceleration for Compressed Gradient Descent in Distributed and Federated Optimization
Zhize Li · Dmitry Kovalev · Xun Qian · Peter Richtarik

Wed Jul 15 12:00 PM -- 12:45 PM & Wed Jul 15 11:00 PM -- 11:45 PM (PDT) @ Virtual
Due to the high communication cost in distributed and federated learning problems, methods relying on compression of communicated messages are becoming increasingly popular. While in other contexts the best performing gradient-type methods invariably rely on some form of acceleration/momentum to reduce the number of iterations, there are no methods which combine the benefits of both gradient compression and acceleration. In this paper, we remedy this situation and propose the first {\em accelerated compressed gradient descent (ACGD)} methods. In the single machine regime, we prove that ACGD enjoys the rate $O\Big((1+\omega)\sqrt{\frac{L}{\mu}}\log \frac{1}{\epsilon}\Big)$ for $\mu$-strongly convex problems and $O\Big((1+\omega)\sqrt{\frac{L}{\epsilon}}\Big)$ for convex problems, respectively, where $\omega$ is the compression parameter. Our results improve upon the existing non-accelerated rates $O\Big((1+\omega)\frac{L}{\mu}\log \frac{1}{\epsilon}\Big)$ and $O\Big((1+\omega)\frac{L}{\epsilon}\Big)$, respectively, and recover the optimal rates of accelerated gradient descent as a special case when no compression ($\omega=0$) is applied. We further propose a distributed variant of ACGD (called ADIANA) and prove the convergence rate $\widetilde{O}\Big(\omega+\sqrt{\frac{L}{\mu}}+\sqrt{\big(\frac{\omega}{n}+\sqrt{\frac{\omega}{n}}\big)\frac{\omega L}{\mu}}\Big)$, where $n$ is the number of devices/workers and $\widetilde{O}$ hides the logarithmic factor $\log \frac{1}{\epsilon}$. This improves upon the previous best result $\widetilde{O}\Big(\omega + \frac{L}{\mu}+\frac{\omega L}{n\mu} \Big)$ achieved by the DIANA method. Finally, we conduct several experiments on real-world datasets which corroborate our theoretical results and confirm the practical superiority of our accelerated methods.

Author Information

Zhize Li (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST))
Dmitry Kovalev (KAUST)
Xun Qian (KAUST)
Peter Richtarik (KAUST)

Peter Richtarik is an Associate Professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at KAUST and an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh. He is an EPSRC Fellow in Mathematical Sciences, Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute, and is affiliated with the Visual Computing Center and the Extreme Computing Research Center at KAUST. Dr. Richtarik received his PhD from Cornell University in 2007, and then worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in Louvain, Belgium, before joining Edinburgh in 2009, and KAUST in 2017. Dr. Richtarik's research interests lie at the intersection of mathematics, computer science, machine learning, optimization, numerical linear algebra, high performance computing and applied probability. Through his recent work on randomized decomposition algorithms (such as randomized coordinate descent methods, stochastic gradient descent methods and their numerous extensions, improvements and variants), he has contributed to the foundations of the emerging field of big data optimization, randomized numerical linear algebra, and stochastic methods for empirical risk minimization. Several of his papers attracted international awards, including the SIAM SIGEST Best Paper Award, the IMA Leslie Fox Prize (2nd prize, twice), and the INFORMS Computing Society Best Student Paper Award (sole runner up). He is the founder and organizer of the Optimization and Big Data workshop series.​

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