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# High Probability Convergence of Stochastic Gradient Methods

*Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 202:21884-21914, 2023.

#### Abstract

In this work, we describe a generic approach to show convergence with high probability for both stochastic convex and non-convex optimization with sub-Gaussian noise. In previous works for convex optimization, either the convergence is only in expectation or the bound depends on the diameter of the domain. Instead, we show high probability convergence with bounds depending on the initial distance to the optimal solution. The algorithms use step sizes analogous to the standard settings and are universal to Lipschitz functions, smooth functions, and their linear combinations. The method can be applied to the non-convex case. We demonstrate an $O((1+\sigma^{2}\log(1/\delta))/T+\sigma/\sqrt{T})$ convergence rate when the number of iterations $T$ is known and an $O((1+\sigma^{2}\log(T/\delta))/\sqrt{T})$ convergence rate when $T$ is unknown for SGD, where $1-\delta$ is the desired success probability. These bounds improve over existing bounds in the literature. We also revisit AdaGrad-Norm (Ward et al., 2019) and show a new analysis to obtain a high probability bound that does not require the bounded gradient assumption made in previous works. The full version of our paper contains results for the standard per-coordinate AdaGrad.