results for au:Lan_G in:cs

- In this paper, we consider multi-stage stochastic optimization problems with convex objectives and conic constraints at each stage. We present a new stochastic first-order method, namely the dynamic stochastic approximation (DSA) algorithm, for solving these types of stochastic optimization problems. We show that DSA can achieve an optimal ${\cal O}(1/\epsilon^4)$ rate of convergence in terms of the total number of required scenarios when applied to a three-stage stochastic optimization problem. We further show that this rate of convergence can be improved to ${\cal O}(1/\epsilon^2)$ when the objective function is strongly convex. We also discuss variants of DSA for solving more general multi-stage stochastic optimization problems with the number of stages $T > 3$. The developed DSA algorithms only need to go through the scenario tree once in order to compute an $\epsilon$-solution of the multi-stage stochastic optimization problem. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that stochastic approximation type methods are generalized for multi-stage stochastic optimization with $T \ge 3$.
- In this work we introduce a conditional accelerated lazy stochastic gradient descent algorithm with optimal number of calls to a stochastic first-order oracle and convergence rate $O\left(\frac{1}{\varepsilon^2}\right)$ improving over the projection-free, Online Frank-Wolfe based stochastic gradient descent of Hazan and Kale [2012] with convergence rate $O\left(\frac{1}{\varepsilon^4}\right)$.
- We present a new class of decentralized first-order methods for nonsmooth and stochastic optimization problems defined over multiagent networks. Considering that communication is a major bottleneck in decentralized optimization, our main goal in this paper is to develop algorithmic frameworks which can significantly reduce the number of inter-node communications. We first propose a decentralized primal-dual method which can find an $\epsilon$-solution both in terms of functional optimality gap and feasibility residual in $O(1/\epsilon)$ inter-node communication rounds when the objective functions are convex and the local primal subproblems are solved exactly. Our major contribution is to present a new class of decentralized primal-dual type algorithms, namely the decentralized communication sliding (DCS) methods, which can skip the inter-node communications while agents solve the primal subproblems iteratively through linearizations of their local objective functions. By employing DCS, agents can still find an $\epsilon$-solution in $O(1/\epsilon)$ (resp., $O(1/\sqrt{\epsilon})$) communication rounds for general convex functions (resp., strongly convex functions), while maintaining the $O(1/\epsilon^2)$ (resp., $O(1/\epsilon)$) bound on the total number of intra-node subgradient evaluations. We also present a stochastic counterpart for these algorithms, denoted by SDCS, for solving stochastic optimization problems whose objective function cannot be evaluated exactly. In comparison with existing results for decentralized nonsmooth and stochastic optimization, we can reduce the total number of inter-node communication rounds by orders of magnitude while still maintaining the optimal complexity bounds on intra-node stochastic subgradient evaluations. The bounds on the subgradient evaluations are actually comparable to those required for centralized nonsmooth and stochastic optimization.