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Efficient displacement convex optimization with particle gradient descent

Hadi Daneshmand · Jason Lee · Chi Jin

Exhibit Hall 1 #624
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Abstract: Particle gradient descent, which uses particles to represent a probability measure and performs gradient descent on particles in parallel, is widely used to optimize functions of probability measures. This paper considers particle gradient descent with a finite number of particles and establishes its theoretical guarantees to optimize functions that are *displacement convex* in measures. Concretely, for Lipschitz displacement convex functions defined on probability over $R^d$, we prove that $O(1/\epsilon^2)$ particles and $O(d/\epsilon^4)$ iterations are sufficient to find the $\epsilon$-optimal solutions. We further provide improved complexity bounds for optimizing smooth displacement convex functions. An application of our results proves the conjecture of *no optimization-barrier up to permutation invariance*, proposed by Entezari et al. (2022), for specific two-layer neural networks with two-dimensional inputs uniformly drawn from unit circle.

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