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Accelerated Stochastic Optimization Methods under Quasar-convexity

Qiang Fu · Dongchu Xu · Ashia Wilson

Exhibit Hall 1 #736
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Non-convex optimization plays a key role in a growing number of machine learning applications. This motivates the identification of specialized structure that enables sharper theoretical analysis. One such identified structure is quasar-convexity, a non-convex generalization of convexity that subsumes convex functions. Existing algorithms for minimizing quasar-convex functions in the stochastic setting have either high complexity or slow convergence, which prompts us to derive a new class of stochastic methods for optimizing smooth quasar-convex functions. We demonstrate that our algorithms have fast convergence and outperform existing algorithms on several examples, including the classical problem of learning linear dynamical systems. We also present a unified analysis of our newly proposed algorithms and a previously studied deterministic algorithm.

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