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A Value-Function-based Interior-point Method for Non-convex Bi-level Optimization

Risheng Liu · Xuan Liu · Xiaoming Yuan · Shangzhi Zeng · Jin Zhang

Keywords: [ Non-convex Optimization ]


Bi-level optimization model is able to capture a wide range of complex learning tasks with practical interest. Due to the witnessed efficiency in solving bi-level programs, gradient-based methods have gained popularity in the machine learning community. In this work, we propose a new gradient-based solution scheme, namely, the Bi-level Value-Function-based Interior-point Method (BVFIM). Following the main idea of the log-barrier interior-point scheme, we penalize the regularized value function of the lower level problem into the upper level objective. By further solving a sequence of differentiable unconstrained approximation problems, we consequently derive a sequential programming scheme. The numerical advantage of our scheme relies on the fact that, when gradient methods are applied to solve the approximation problem, we successfully avoid computing any expensive Hessian-vector or Jacobian-vector product. We prove the convergence without requiring any convexity assumption on either the upper level or the lower level objective. Experiments demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed BVFIM on non-convex bi-level problems.

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