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# A Study of First-Order Methods with a Deterministic Relative-Error Gradient Oracle

*Proceedings of the 41st International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 235:17313-17332, 2024.

#### Abstract

This paper studies the theoretical guarantees of the classical projected gradient and conditional gradient methods applied to constrained optimization problems with biased relative-error gradient oracles. These oracles are used in various settings, such as distributed optimization systems or derivative-free optimization, and are particularly common when gradients are compressed, quantized, or estimated via finite differences computations. Several settings are investigated: Optimization over the box with a coordinate-wise erroneous gradient oracle, optimization over a general compact convex set, and three more specific scenarios. Convergence guarantees are established with respect to the relative-error magnitude, and in particular, we show that the conditional gradient is invariant to relative-error when applied over the box with a coordinate-wise erroneous gradient oracle, and the projected gradient maintains its convergence guarantees when optimizing a nonconvex objective function.