Epigraph projections for fast general convex programming

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Po-Wei Wang, Matt Wytock, Zico Kolter ;
Proceedings of The 33rd International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 48:2868-2877, 2016.

Abstract

This paper develops an approach for efficiently solving general convex optimization problems specified as disciplined convex programs (DCP), a common general-purpose modeling framework. Specifically we develop an algorithm based upon fast epigraph projections, projections onto the epigraph of a convex function, an approach closely linked to proximal operator methods. We show that by using these operators, we can solve any disciplined convex program without transforming the problem to a standard cone form, as is done by current DCP libraries. We then develop a large library of efficient epigraph projection operators, mirroring and extending work on fast proximal algorithms, for many common convex functions. Finally, we evaluate the performance of the algorithm, and show it often achieves order of magnitude speedups over existing general-purpose optimization solvers.

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