DSA: Decentralized Double Stochastic Averaging Gradient Algorithm

Aryan Mokhtari, Alejandro Ribeiro; 17(61):1−35, 2016.

Abstract

This paper considers optimization problems where nodes of a network have access to summands of a global objective. Each of these local objectives is further assumed to be an average of a finite set of functions. The motivation for this setup is to solve large scale machine learning problems where elements of the training set are distributed to multiple computational elements. The decentralized double stochastic averaging gradient (DSA) algorithm is proposed as a solution alternative that relies on: (i) The use of local stochastic averaging gradients. (ii) Determination of descent steps as differences of consecutive stochastic averaging gradients. Strong convexity of local functions and Lipschitz continuity of local gradients is shown to guarantee linear convergence of the sequence generated by DSA in expectation. Local iterates are further shown to approach the optimal argument for almost all realizations. The expected linear convergence of DSA is in contrast to the sublinear rate characteristic of existing methods for decentralized stochastic optimization. Numerical experiments on a logistic regression problem illustrate reductions in convergence time and number of feature vectors processed until convergence relative to these other alternatives.

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