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Optimization and Control (math.OC)

Wed, 24 May 2023

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1.Block Coordinate Descent on Smooth Manifolds

Authors:Liangzu Peng, René Vidal

Abstract: Block coordinate descent is an optimization paradigm that iteratively updates one block of variables at a time, making it quite amenable to big data applications due to its scalability and performance. Its convergence behavior has been extensively studied in the (block-wise) convex case, but it is much less explored in the non-convex case. In this paper we analyze the convergence of block coordinate methods on non-convex sets and derive convergence rates on smooth manifolds under natural or weaker assumptions than prior work. Our analysis applies to many non-convex problems (e.g., generalized PCA, optimal transport, matrix factorization, Burer-Monteiro factorization, outlier-robust estimation, alternating projection, maximal coding rate reduction, neural collapse, adversarial attacks, homomorphic sensing), either yielding novel corollaries or recovering previously known results.

2.Accelerated Nonconvex ADMM with Self-Adaptive Penalty for Rank-Constrained Model Identification

Authors:Qingyuan Liu, Zhengchao Huang, Hao Ye, Dexian Huang, Chao Shang

Abstract: The alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) has been widely adopted in low-rank approximation and low-order model identification tasks; however, the performance of nonconvex ADMM is highly reliant on the choice of penalty parameter. To accelerate ADMM for solving rankconstrained identification problems, this paper proposes a new self-adaptive strategy for automatic penalty update. Guided by first-order analysis of the increment of the augmented Lagrangian, the self-adaptive penalty updating enables effective and balanced minimization of both primal and dual residuals and thus ensures a stable convergence. Moreover, improved efficiency can be obtained within the Anderson acceleration scheme. Numerical examples show that the proposed strategy significantly accelerates the convergence of nonconvex ADMM while alleviating the critical reliance on tedious tuning of penalty parameters.

3.The Minimization of Piecewise Functions: Pseudo Stationarity

Authors:Ying Cui, Junyi Liu, Jong-Shi Pang

Abstract: There are many significant applied contexts that require the solution of discontinuous optimization problems in finite dimensions. Yet these problems are very difficult, both computationally and analytically. With the functions being discontinuous and a minimizer (local or global) of the problems, even if it exists, being impossible to verifiably compute, a foremost question is what kind of ''stationary solutions'' one can expect to obtain; these solutions provide promising candidates for minimizers; i.e., their defining conditions are necessary for optimality. Motivated by recent results on sparse optimization, we introduce in this paper such a kind of solution, termed ''pseudo B- (for Bouligand) stationary solution'', for a broad class of discontinuous piecewise continuous optimization problems with objective and constraint defined by indicator functions of the positive real axis composite with functions that are possibly nonsmooth. We present two approaches for computing such a solution. One approach is based on lifting the problem to a higher dimension via the epigraphical formulation of the indicator functions; this requires the addition of some auxiliary variables. The other approach is based on certain continuous (albeit not necessarily differentiable) piecewise approximations of the indicator functions and the convergence to a pseudo B-stationary solution of the original problem is established. The conditions for convergence are discussed and illustrated by an example.

4.Decentralized Control of Linear Systems with Private Input and Measurement Information

Authors:Juanjuan Xu, Huanshui Zhang

Abstract: In this paper, we study the linear quadratic (LQ) optimal control problem of linear systems with private input and measurement information. The main challenging lies in the unavailability of other regulators' historical input information. To overcome this difficulty, we introduce a kind of novel observers by using the private input and measurement information and accordingly design a kind of new decentralized controllers. In particular, it is verified that the corresponding cost function under the proposed decentralized controllers are asymptotically optimal as comparison with the optimal cost under optimal state-feedback controller. The presented results in this paper are new to the best of our knowledge, which represent the fundamental contribution to classical decentralized control.

5.Improved Complexity Analysis of the Sinkhorn and Greenkhorn Algorithms for Optimal Transport

Authors:Jianzhou Luo, Dingchuan Yang, Ke Wei

Abstract: The Sinkhorn algorithm is a widely used method for solving the optimal transport problem, and the Greenkhorn algorithm is one of its variants. While there are modified versions of these two algorithms whose computational complexities are $O({n^2\|C\|_\infty^2\log n}/{\varepsilon^2})$ to achieve an $\varepsilon$-accuracy, the best known complexities for the vanilla versions are $O({n^2\|C\|_\infty^3\log n}/{\varepsilon^3})$. In this paper we fill this gap and show that the complexities of the vanilla Sinkhorn and Greenkhorn algorithms are indeed $O({n^2\|C\|_\infty^2\log n}/{\varepsilon^2})$. The analysis relies on the equicontinuity of the dual variables of the entropic regularized optimal transport problem, which is of independent interest.

6.A discrete-time Pontryagin maximum principle under rate constraints

Authors:Siddhartha Ganguly, Souvik Das, Debasish Chatterjee, Ravi Banavar

Abstract: Limited bandwidth and limited saturation in actuators are practical concerns in control systems. Mathematically, these limitations manifest as constraints being imposed on the control actions, their rates of change, and more generally, the global behavior of their paths. While the problem of actuator saturation has been studied extensively, little attention has been devoted to the problem of actuators having limited bandwidth. While attempts have been made in the direction of incorporating frequency constraints on state-action trajectories before, rate constraints on the control at the design stage have not been studied extensively in the discrete-time regime. This article contributes toward filling this lacuna. In particular, we establish a new discrete-time Pontryagin maximum principle with rate constraints being imposed on the control trajectories, and derive first-order necessary conditions for optimality. A brief discussion on the existence of optimal control is included, and numerical examples are provided to illustrate the results.

7.A note on the computational complexity of the moment-SOS hierarchy for polynomial optimization

Authors:Sander Gribling, Sven Polak, Lucas Slot

Abstract: The moment-sum-of-squares (moment-SOS) hierarchy is one of the most celebrated and widely applied methods for approximating the minimum of an n-variate polynomial over a feasible region defined by polynomial (in)equalities. A key feature of the hierarchy is that, at a fixed level, it can be formulated as a semidefinite program of size polynomial in the number of variables n. Although this suggests that it may therefore be computed in polynomial time, this is not necessarily the case. Indeed, as O'Donnell (2017) and later Raghavendra & Weitz (2017) show, there exist examples where the sos-representations used in the hierarchy have exponential bit-complexity. We study the computational complexity of the moment-SOS hierarchy, complementing and expanding upon earlier work of Raghavendra & Weitz (2017). In particular, we establish algebraic and geometric conditions under which polynomial-time computation is guaranteed to be possible.

8.ReSync: Riemannian Subgradient-based Robust Rotation Synchronization

Authors:Huikang Liu, Xiao Li, Anthony Man-Cho So

Abstract: This work presents ReSync, a Riemannian subgradient-based algorithm for solving the robust rotation synchronization problem, which arises in various engineering applications. ReSync solves a least-unsquared minimization formulation over the rotation group, which is nonsmooth and nonconvex, and aims at recovering the underlying rotations directly. We provide strong theoretical guarantees for ReSync under the random corruption setting. Specifically, we first show that the initialization procedure of ReSync yields a proper initial point that lies in a local region around the ground-truth rotations. We next establish the weak sharpness property of the aforementioned formulation and then utilize this property to derive the local linear convergence of ReSync to the ground-truth rotations. By combining these guarantees, we conclude that ReSync converges linearly to the ground-truth rotations under appropriate conditions. Experiment results demonstrate the effectiveness of ReSync.

9.Approximating Multiobjective Optimization Problems: How exact can you be?

Authors:Cristina Bazgan, Arne Herzel, Stefan Ruzika, Clemens Thielen, Daniel Vanderpooten

Abstract: It is well known that, under very weak assumptions, multiobjective optimization problems admit $(1+\varepsilon,\dots,1+\varepsilon)$-approximation sets (also called $\varepsilon$-Pareto sets) of polynomial cardinality (in the size of the instance and in $\frac{1}{\varepsilon}$). While an approximation guarantee of $1+\varepsilon$ for any $\varepsilon>0$ is the best one can expect for singleobjective problems (apart from solving the problem to optimality), even better approximation guarantees than $(1+\varepsilon,\dots,1+\varepsilon)$ can be considered in the multiobjective case since the approximation might be exact in some of the objectives. Hence, in this paper, we consider partially exact approximation sets that require to approximate each feasible solution exactly, i.e., with an approximation guarantee of $1$, in some of the objectives while still obtaining a guarantee of $1+\varepsilon$ in all others. We characterize the types of polynomial-cardinality, partially exact approximation sets that are guaranteed to exist for general multiobjective optimization problems. Moreover, we study minimum-cardinality partially exact approximation sets concerning (weak) efficiency of the contained solutions and relate their cardinalities to the minimum cardinality of a $(1+\varepsilon,\dots,1+\varepsilon)$-approximation set.

10.Efficiently Constructing Convex Approximation Sets in Multiobjective Optimization Problems

Authors:Stephan Helfrich, Stefan Ruzika, Clemens Thielen

Abstract: Convex approximation sets for multiobjective optimization problems are a well-studied relaxation of the common notion of approximation sets. Instead of approximating each image of a feasible solution by the image of some solution in the approximation set up to a multiplicative factor in each component, a convex approximation set only requires this multiplicative approximation to be achieved by some convex combination of finitely many images of solutions in the set. This makes convex approximation sets efficiently computable for a wide range of multiobjective problems - even for many problems for which (classic) approximations sets are hard to compute. In this article, we propose a polynomial-time algorithm to compute convex approximation sets that builds upon an exact or approximate algorithm for the weighted sum scalarization and is, therefore, applicable to a large variety of multiobjective optimization problems. The provided convex approximation quality is arbitrarily close to the approximation quality of the underlying algorithm for the weighted sum scalarization. In essence, our algorithm can be interpreted as an approximate variant of the dual variant of Benson's Outer Approximation Algorithm. Thus, in contrast to existing convex approximation algorithms from the literature, information on solutions obtained during the approximation process is utilized to significantly reduce both the practical running time and the cardinality of the returned solution sets while still guaranteeing the same worst-case approximation quality. We underpin these advantages by the first comparison of all existing convex approximation algorithms on several instances of the triobjective knapsack problem and the triobjective symmetric metric traveling salesman problem.

11.The Cooperative Maximum Capture Facility Location Problem

Authors:Concepción Domínguez, Ricardo Gázquez, Juan Miguel Morales, Salvador Pineda

Abstract: In the Maximum Capture Facility Location (MCFL) problem with a binary choice rule, a company intends to locate a series of facilities to maximize the captured demand, and customers patronize the facility that maximizes their utility. In this work, we generalize the MCFL problem assuming that the facilities of the decision maker act cooperatively to increase the customers' utility over the company. We propose a utility maximization rule between the captured utility of the decision maker and the opt-out utility of a competitor already installed in the market. Furthermore, we model the captured utility by means of an Ordered Median function (OMf) of the partial utilities of newly open facilities. We name this problem "the Cooperative Maximum Capture Facility Location problem" (CMCFL). The OMf serves as a means to compute the utility of each customer towards the company as an aggregation of ordered partial utilities, and constitutes a unifying framework for CMCFL models. We introduce a multiperiod non-linear bilevel formulation for the CMCFL with an embedded assignment problem characterizing the captured utilities. For this model, two exact resolution approaches are presented: a MILP reformulation with valid inequalities and an effective approach based on Benders' decomposition. Extensive computational experiments are provided to test our results with randomly generated data and an application to the location of charging stations for electric vehicles in the city of Trois-Rivi\`eres, Qu\`ebec, is addressed.

12.Using Scalarizations for the Approximation of Multiobjective Optimization Problems: Towards a General Theory

Authors:Stephan Helfrich, Arne Herzel, Stefan Ruzika, Clemens Thielen

Abstract: We study the approximation of general multiobjective optimization problems with the help of scalarizations. Existing results state that multiobjective minimization problems can be approximated well by norm-based scalarizations. However, for multiobjective maximization problems, only impossibility results are known so far. Countering this, we show that all multiobjective optimization problems can, in principle, be approximated equally well by scalarizations. In this context, we introduce a transformation theory for scalarizations that establishes the following: Suppose there exists a scalarization that yields an approximation of a certain quality for arbitrary instances of multiobjective optimization problems with a given decomposition specifying which objective functions are to be minimized / maximized. Then, for each other decomposition, our transformation yields another scalarization that yields the same approximation quality for arbitrary instances of problems with this other decomposition. In this sense, the existing results about the approximation via scalarizations for minimization problems carry over to any other objective decomposition -- in particular, to maximization problems -- when suitably adapting the employed scalarization. We further provide necessary and sufficient conditions on a scalarization such that its optimal solutions achieve a constant approximation quality. We give an upper bound on the best achievable approximation quality that applies to general scalarizations and is tight for the majority of norm-based scalarizations applied in the context of multiobjective optimization. As a consequence, none of these norm-based scalarizations can induce approximation sets for optimization problems with maximization objectives, which unifies and generalizes the existing impossibility results concerning the approximation of maximization problems.

13.A Privacy-Preserving Finite-Time Push-Sum based Gradient Method for Distributed Optimization over Digraphs

Authors:Xiaomeng Chen, Wei Jiang, Themistoklis Charalambous, Ling Shi

Abstract: This paper addresses the problem of distributed optimization, where a network of agents represented as a directed graph (digraph) aims to collaboratively minimize the sum of their individual cost functions. Existing approaches for distributed optimization over digraphs, such as Push-Pull, require agents to exchange explicit state values with their neighbors in order to reach an optimal solution. However, this can result in the disclosure of sensitive and private information. To overcome this issue, we propose a state-decomposition-based privacy-preserving finite-time push-sum (PrFTPS) algorithm without any global information such as network size or graph diameter. Then, based on PrFTPS, we design a gradient descent algorithm (PrFTPS-GD) to solve the distributed optimization problem. It is proved that under PrFTPS-GD, the privacy of each agent is preserved and the linear convergence rate related to the optimization iteration number is achieved. Finally, numerical simulations are provided to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

14.Error Feedback Shines when Features are Rare

Authors:Peter Richtárik, Elnur Gasanov, Konstantin Burlachenko

Abstract: We provide the first proof that gradient descent $\left({\color{green}\sf GD}\right)$ with greedy sparsification $\left({\color{green}\sf TopK}\right)$ and error feedback $\left({\color{green}\sf EF}\right)$ can obtain better communication complexity than vanilla ${\color{green}\sf GD}$ when solving the distributed optimization problem $\min_{x\in \mathbb{R}^d} {f(x)=\frac{1}{n}\sum_{i=1}^n f_i(x)}$, where $n$ = # of clients, $d$ = # of features, and $f_1,\dots,f_n$ are smooth nonconvex functions. Despite intensive research since 2014 when ${\color{green}\sf EF}$ was first proposed by Seide et al., this problem remained open until now. We show that ${\color{green}\sf EF}$ shines in the regime when features are rare, i.e., when each feature is present in the data owned by a small number of clients only. To illustrate our main result, we show that in order to find a random vector $\hat{x}$ such that $\lVert {\nabla f(\hat{x})} \rVert^2 \leq \varepsilon$ in expectation, ${\color{green}\sf GD}$ with the ${\color{green}\sf Top1}$ sparsifier and ${\color{green}\sf EF}$ requires ${\cal O} \left(\left( L+{\color{blue}r} \sqrt{ \frac{{\color{red}c}}{n} \min \left( \frac{{\color{red}c}}{n} \max_i L_i^2, \frac{1}{n}\sum_{i=1}^n L_i^2 \right) }\right) \frac{1}{\varepsilon} \right)$ bits to be communicated by each worker to the server only, where $L$ is the smoothness constant of $f$, $L_i$ is the smoothness constant of $f_i$, ${\color{red}c}$ is the maximal number of clients owning any feature ($1\leq {\color{red}c} \leq n$), and ${\color{blue}r}$ is the maximal number of features owned by any client ($1\leq {\color{blue}r} \leq d$). Clearly, the communication complexity improves as ${\color{red}c}$ decreases (i.e., as features become more rare), and can be much better than the ${\cal O}({\color{blue}r} L \frac{1}{\varepsilon})$ communication complexity of ${\color{green}\sf GD}$ in the same regime.

15.Mathematical Models and Exact Algorithms for the Colored Bin Packing Problem

Authors:Yulle G. F. Borges, Rafael C. S. Schouery, Flávio K. Miyazawa

Abstract: This paper focuses on exact approaches for the Colored Bin Packing Problem (CBPP), a generalization of the classical one-dimensional Bin Packing Problem in which each item has, in addition to its length, a color, and no two items of the same color can appear consecutively in the same bin. To simplify modeling, we present a characterization of any feasible packing of this problem in a way that does not depend on its ordering. Furthermore, we present four exact algorithms for the CBPP. First, we propose a generalization of Val\'erio de Carvalho's arc flow formulation for the CBPP using a graph with multiple layers, each representing a color. Second, we present an improved arc flow formulation that uses a more compact graph and has the same linear relaxation bound as the first formulation. And finally, we design two exponential set-partition models based on reductions to a generalized vehicle routing problem, which are solved by a branch-cut-and-price algorithm through VRPSolver. To compare the proposed algorithms, a varied benchmark set with 574 instances of the CBPP is presented. Results show that the best model, our improved arc flow formulation, was able to solve over 62% of the proposed instances to optimality, the largest of which with 500 items and 37 colors. While being able to solve fewer instances in total, the set-partition models exceeded their arc flow counterparts in instances with a very small number of colors.

16.Mean field type control with species dependent dynamics via structured tensor optimization

Authors:Axel Ringh, Isabel Haasler, Yongxin Chen, Johan Karlsson

Abstract: In this work we consider mean field type control problems with multiple species that have different dynamics. We formulate the discretized problem using a new type of entropy-regularized multimarginal optimal transport problems where the cost is a decomposable structured tensor. A novel algorithm for solving such problems is derived, using this structure and leveraging recent results in entropy-regularized optimal transport. The algorithm is then demonstrated on a numerical example in robot coordination problem for search and rescue, where three different types of robots are used to cover a given area at minimal cost.

17.Inverse optimal control for averaged cost per stage linear quadratic regulators

Authors:Han Zhang, Axel Ringh

Abstract: Inverse Optimal Control (IOC) is a powerful framework for learning a behaviour from observations of experts. The framework aims to identify the underlying cost function that the observed optimal trajectories (the experts' behaviour) are optimal with respect to. In this work, we considered the case of identifying the cost and the feedback law from observed trajectories generated by an ``average cost per stage" linear quadratic regulator. We show that identifying the cost is in general an ill-posed problem, and give necessary and sufficient conditions for non-identifiability. Moreover, despite the fact that the problem is in general ill-posed, we construct an estimator for the cost function and show that the control gain corresponding to this estimator is a statistically consistent estimator for the true underlying control gain. In fact, the constructed estimator is based on convex optimization, and hence the proved statistical consistency is also observed in practice. We illustrate the latter by applying the method on a simulation example from rehabilitation robotics.

18.Algorithms for the Bin Packing Problem with Scenarios

Authors:Yulle G. F. Borges, Vinícius L. de Lima, Flávio K. Miyazawa, Lehilton L. C. Pedrosa, Thiago A. de Queiroz, Rafael C. S. Schouery

Abstract: This paper presents theoretical and practical results for the bin packing problem with scenarios, a generalization of the classical bin packing problem which considers the presence of uncertain scenarios, of which only one is realized. For this problem, we propose an absolute approximation algorithm whose ratio is bounded by the square root of the number of scenarios times the approximation ratio for an algorithm for the vector bin packing problem. We also show how an asymptotic polynomial-time approximation scheme is derived when the number of scenarios is constant. As a practical study of the problem, we present a branch-and-price algorithm to solve an exponential model and a variable neighborhood search heuristic. To speed up the convergence of the exact algorithm, we also consider lower bounds based on dual feasible functions. Results of these algorithms show the competence of the branch-and-price in obtaining optimal solutions for about 59% of the instances considered, while the combined heuristic and branch-and-price optimally solved 62% of the instances considered.

19.LQG Risk-Sensitive Mean Field Games with a Major Agent: A Variational Approach

Authors:Hanchao Liu, Dena Firoozi, Michèle Breton

Abstract: Risk sensitivity plays an important role in the study of finance and economics as risk-neutral models cannot capture and justify all economic behaviors observed in reality. Risk-sensitive mean field game theory was developed recently for systems where there exists a large number of indistinguishable, asymptotically negligible and heterogeneous risk-sensitive players, who are coupled via the empirical distribution of state across population. In this work, we extend the theory of Linear Quadratic Gaussian risk-sensitive mean-field games to the setup where there exists one major agent as well as a large number of minor agents. The major agent has a significant impact on each minor agent and its impact does not collapse with the increase in the number of minor agents. Each agent is subject to linear dynamics with an exponential-of-integral quadratic cost functional. Moreover, all agents interact via the average state of minor agents (so-called empirical mean field) and the major agent's state. We develop a variational analysis approach to derive the best response strategies of agents in the limiting case where the number of agents goes to infinity. We establish that the set of obtained best-response strategies yields a Nash equilibrium in the limiting case and an $\varepsilon$-Nash equilibrium in the finite player case. We conclude the paper with an illustrative example.