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Optimization and Control (math.OC)

Fri, 09 Jun 2023

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1.An Accelerated Stochastic ADMM for Nonconvex and Nonsmooth Finite-Sum Optimization

Authors:Yuxuan Zeng, Zhiguo Wang, Jianchao Bai, Xiaojing Shen

Abstract: The nonconvex and nonsmooth finite-sum optimization problem with linear constraint has attracted much attention in the fields of artificial intelligence, computer, and mathematics, due to its wide applications in machine learning and the lack of efficient algorithms with convincing convergence theories. A popular approach to solve it is the stochastic Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers (ADMM), but most stochastic ADMM-type methods focus on convex models. In addition, the variance reduction (VR) and acceleration techniques are useful tools in the development of stochastic methods due to their simplicity and practicability in providing acceleration characteristics of various machine learning models. However, it remains unclear whether accelerated SVRG-ADMM algorithm (ASVRG-ADMM), which extends SVRG-ADMM by incorporating momentum techniques, exhibits a comparable acceleration characteristic or convergence rate in the nonconvex setting. To fill this gap, we consider a general nonconvex nonsmooth optimization problem and study the convergence of ASVRG-ADMM. By utilizing a well-defined potential energy function, we establish its sublinear convergence rate $O(1/T)$, where $T$ denotes the iteration number. Furthermore, under the additional Kurdyka-Lojasiewicz (KL) property which is less stringent than the frequently used conditions for showcasing linear convergence rates, such as strong convexity, we show that the ASVRG-ADMM sequence has a finite length and converges to a stationary solution with a linear convergence rate. Several experiments on solving the graph-guided fused lasso problem and regularized logistic regression problem validate that the proposed ASVRG-ADMM performs better than the state-of-the-art methods.

2.Robust Data-driven Prescriptiveness Optimization

Authors:Mehran Poursoltani, Erick Delage, Angelos Georghiou

Abstract: The abundance of data has led to the emergence of a variety of optimization techniques that attempt to leverage available side information to provide more anticipative decisions. The wide range of methods and contexts of application have motivated the design of a universal unitless measure of performance known as the coefficient of prescriptiveness. This coefficient was designed to quantify both the quality of contextual decisions compared to a reference one and the prescriptive power of side information. To identify policies that maximize the former in a data-driven context, this paper introduces a distributionally robust contextual optimization model where the coefficient of prescriptiveness substitutes for the classical empirical risk minimization objective. We present a bisection algorithm to solve this model, which relies on solving a series of linear programs when the distributional ambiguity set has an appropriate nested form and polyhedral structure. Studying a contextual shortest path problem, we evaluate the robustness of the resulting policies against alternative methods when the out-of-sample dataset is subject to varying amounts of distribution shift.

3.Lifting partial smoothing to solve HJB equations and stochastic control problems

Authors:Fausto Gozzi, Federica Masiero

Abstract: We study a family of stochastic control problems arising in typical applications (such as boundary control and control of delay equations with delay in the control) with the ultimate aim of finding solutions of the associated HJB equations, regular enough to find optimal feedback controls. These problems are difficult to treat since the underlying transition semigroups do not possess good smoothing properties nor the so-called "structure condition" which typically allows to apply the backward equations approach. In the papers [14], [15], and, more recently, [16] we studied such problems developing new partial smoothing techniques which allowed us to obtain the required regularity in the case when the cost functional is independent of the state variable. This is a somehow strong restriction which is not verified in most applications. In this paper (which can be considered a continuation of the research of the above papers) we develop a new approach to overcome this restriction. We extend the partial smoothing result to a wider class of functions which depend on the whole trajectory of the underlying semigroup and we use this as a key tool to improve our regularity result for the HJB equation. The fact that such class depends on trajectories requires a nontrivial technical work as we have to lift the original transition semigroup to a space of trajectories, defining a new "high-level" environment where our problems can be solved.

4.Branching via Cutting Plane Selection: Improving Hybrid Branching

Authors:Mark Turner, Timo Berthold, Mathieu Besançon, Thorsten Koch

Abstract: Cutting planes and branching are two of the most important algorithms for solving mixed-integer linear programs. For both algorithms, disjunctions play an important role, being used both as branching candidates and as the foundation for some cutting planes. We relate branching decisions and cutting planes to each other through the underlying disjunctions that they are based on, with a focus on Gomory mixed-integer cuts and their corresponding split disjunctions. We show that selecting branching decisions based on quality measures of Gomory mixed-integer cuts leads to relatively small branch-and-bound trees, and that the result improves when using cuts that more accurately represent the branching decisions. Finally, we show how the history of previously computed Gomory mixed-integer cuts can be used to improve the performance of the state-of-the-art hybrid branching rule of SCIP. Our results show a 4\% decrease in solve time, and an 8\% decrease in number of nodes over affected instances of MIPLIB 2017.