[edit]

# Sharpened Lazy Incremental Quasi-Newton Method

*Proceedings of The 27th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 238:4735-4743, 2024.

#### Abstract

The problem of minimizing the sum of $n$ functions in $d$ dimensions is ubiquitous in machine learning and statistics. In many applications where the number of observations $n$ is large, it is necessary to use incremental or stochastic methods, as their per-iteration cost is independent of $n$. Of these, Quasi-Newton (QN) methods strike a balance between the per-iteration cost and the convergence rate. Specifically, they exhibit a superlinear rate with $O(d^2)$ cost in contrast to the linear rate of first-order methods with $O(d)$ cost and the quadratic rate of second-order methods with $O(d^3)$ cost. However, existing incremental methods have notable shortcomings: Incremental Quasi-Newton (IQN) only exhibits asymptotic superlinear convergence. In contrast, Incremental Greedy BFGS (IGS) offers explicit superlinear convergence but suffers from poor empirical performance and has a per-iteration cost of $O(d^3)$. To address these issues, we introduce the Sharpened Lazy Incremental Quasi-Newton Method (SLIQN) that achieves the best of both worlds: an explicit superlinear convergence rate, and superior empirical performance at a per-iteration $O(d^2)$ cost. SLIQN features two key changes: first, it incorporates a hybrid strategy of using both classic and greedy BFGS updates, allowing it to empirically outperform both IQN and IGS. Second, it employs a clever constant multiplicative factor along with a lazy propagation strategy, which enables it to have a cost of $O(d^2)$. Additionally, our experiments demonstrate the superiority of SLIQN over other incremental and stochastic Quasi-Newton variants and establish its competitiveness with second-order incremental methods.