Stochastic Zeroth-order Optimization in High Dimensions

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Yining Wang, Simon Du, Sivaraman Balakrishnan, Aarti Singh ;
Proceedings of the Twenty-First International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 84:1356-1365, 2018.

Abstract

We consider the problem of optimizing a high-dimensional convex function using stochastic zeroth-order queries. Under sparsity assumptions on the gradients or function values, we present two algorithms: a successive component/feature selection algorithm and a noisy mirror descent algorithm using Lasso gradient estimates, and show that both algorithms have convergence rates that depend only logarithmically on the ambient dimension of the problem. Empirical results confirm our theoretical findings and show that the algorithms we design outperform classical zeroth-order optimization methods in the high-dimensional setting.

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