Asynchronous Distributed ADMM for Consensus Optimization


Ruiliang Zhang, James Kwok ;
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 32(2):1701-1709, 2014.


Distributed optimization algorithms are highly attractive for solving big data problems. In particular, many machine learning problems can be formulated as the global consensus optimization problem, which can then be solved in a distributed manner by the alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) algorithm. However, this suffers from the straggler problem as its updates have to be synchronized. In this paper, we propose an asynchronous ADMM algorithm by using two conditions to control the asynchrony: partial barrier and bounded delay. The proposed algorithm has a simple structure and good convergence guarantees (its convergence rate can be reduced to that of its synchronous counterpart). Experiments on different distributed ADMM applications show that asynchrony reduces the time on network waiting, and achieves faster convergence than its synchronous counterpart in terms of the wall clock time.

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