Curvature and complexity: Better lower bounds for geodesically convex optimization
Proceedings of Thirty Sixth Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 195:2969-3013, 2023.
We study the query complexity of geodesically convex (g-convex) optimization on a manifold. To isolate the effect of that manifold’s curvature, we primarily focus on hyperbolic spaces. In a variety of settings (smooth or not; strongly g-convex or not; high- or low-dimensional), known upper bounds worsen with curvature. It is natural to ask whether this is warranted, or an artifact.For many such settings, we propose a first set of lower bounds which indeed confirm that (negative) curvature is detrimental to complexity. To do so, we build on recent lower bounds (Hamilton and Moitra, 2021; Criscitiello and Boumal, 2022) for the particular case of smooth, strongly g-convex optimization. Using a number of techniques, we also secure lower bounds which capture dependence on condition number and optimality gap, which was not previously the case.We suspect these bounds are not optimal. We conjecture optimal ones, and support them with a matching lower bound for a class of algorithms which includes subgradient descent, and a lower bound for a related game. Lastly, to pinpoint the difficulty of proving lower bounds, we study how negative curvature influences (and sometimes obstructs) interpolation with g-convex functions.