Published on Thu Nov 12 2015

Random Multi-Constraint Projection: Stochastic Gradient Methods for Convex Optimization with Many Constraints

Mengdi Wang, Yichen Chen, Jialin Liu, Yuantao Gu

Consider convex optimization problems subject to a large number of constraints. At every iteration, the algorithms sample a number of projection points onto a randomly selected small subsets of all constraints. We prove the almost sure convergence of these algorithms.

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Abstract

Consider convex optimization problems subject to a large number of constraints. We focus on stochastic problems in which the objective takes the form of expected values and the feasible set is the intersection of a large number of convex sets. We propose a class of algorithms that perform both stochastic gradient descent and random feasibility updates simultaneously. At every iteration, the algorithms sample a number of projection points onto a randomly selected small subsets of all constraints. Three feasibility update schemes are considered: averaging over random projected points, projecting onto the most distant sample, projecting onto a special polyhedral set constructed based on sample points. We prove the almost sure convergence of these algorithms, and analyze the iterates' feasibility error and optimality error, respectively. We provide new convergence rate benchmarks for stochastic first-order optimization with many constraints. The rate analysis and numerical experiments reveal that the algorithm using the polyhedral-set projection scheme is the most efficient one within known algorithms.