results for au:Pillutla_V in:cs
This work provides a simplified proof of the statistical minimax optimality of (iterate averaged) stochastic gradient descent (SGD), for the special case of least squares. This result is obtained by analyzing SGD as a stochastic process and by sharply characterizing the stationary covariance matrix of this process. The finite rate optimality characterization captures the constant factors and addresses model mis-specification.
In distributed machine learning, data is dispatched to multiple machines for processing. Motivated by the fact that similar data points often belong to the same or similar classes, and more generally, classification rules of high accuracy tend to be "locally simple but globally complex" (Vapnik & Bottou 1993), we propose data dependent dispatching that takes advantage of such structure. We present an in-depth analysis of this model, providing new algorithms with provable worst-case guarantees, analysis proving existing scalable heuristics perform well in natural non worst-case conditions, and techniques for extending a dispatching rule from a small sample to the entire distribution. We overcome novel technical challenges to satisfy important conditions for accurate distributed learning, including fault tolerance and balancedness. We empirically compare our approach with baselines based on random partitioning, balanced partition trees, and locality sensitive hashing, showing that we achieve significantly higher accuracy on both synthetic and real world image and advertising datasets. We also demonstrate that our technique strongly scales with the available computing power.