[edit]

# On the complexity of finding stationary points of smooth functions in one dimension

*Proceedings of The 34th International Conference on Algorithmic Learning Theory*, PMLR 201:358-374, 2023.

#### Abstract

We characterize the query complexity of finding stationary points of one-dimensional non-convex but smooth functions. We consider four settings, based on whether the algorithms under consideration are deterministic or randomized, and whether the oracle outputs $1^{\rm st}$-order or both $0^{\rm th}$- and $1^{\rm st}$-order information. Our results show that algorithms for this task provably benefit by incorporating either randomness or $0^{\rm th}$-order information. Our results also show that, for every dimension $d \geq 1$, gradient descent is optimal among deterministic algorithms using $1^{\rm st}$-order queries only.