results for au:Yu_A in:stat

- Machine learning with big data often involves large optimization models. For distributed optimization over a cluster of machines, frequent communication and synchronization of all model parameters (optimization variables) can be very costly. A promising solution is to use parameter servers to store different subsets of the model parameters, and update them asynchronously at different machines using local datasets. In this paper, we focus on distributed optimization of large linear models with convex loss functions, and propose a family of randomized primal-dual block coordinate algorithms that are especially suitable for asynchronous distributed implementation with parameter servers. In particular, we work with the saddle-point formulation of such problems which allows simultaneous data and model partitioning, and exploit its structure by doubly stochastic coordinate optimization with variance reduction (DSCOVR). Compared with other first-order distributed algorithms, we show that DSCOVR may require less amount of overall computation and communication, and less or no synchronization. We discuss the implementation details of the DSCOVR algorithms, and present numerical experiments on an industrial distributed computing system.
- We consider the noisy power method algorithm, which has wide applications in machine learning and statistics, especially those related to principal component analysis (PCA) under resource (communication, memory or privacy) constraints. Existing analysis of the noisy power method shows an unsatisfactory dependency over the "consecutive" spectral gap $(\sigma_k-\sigma_{k+1})$ of an input data matrix, which could be very small and hence limits the algorithm's applicability. In this paper, we present a new analysis of the noisy power method that achieves improved gap dependency for both sample complexity and noise tolerance bounds. More specifically, we improve the dependency over $(\sigma_k-\sigma_{k+1})$ to dependency over $(\sigma_k-\sigma_{q+1})$, where $q$ is an intermediate algorithm parameter and could be much larger than the target rank $k$. Our proofs are built upon a novel characterization of proximity between two subspaces that differ from canonical angle characterizations analyzed in previous works. Finally, we apply our improved bounds to distributed private PCA and memory-efficient streaming PCA and obtain bounds that are superior to existing results in the literature.
- In this study, we intend to solve a mutual information problem in interacting molecules of any type, such as proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules. Using machine learning techniques, we accurately predict pairwise interactions, which can be of medical and biological importance. Graphs are are useful in this problem for their generality to all types of molecules, due to the inherent association of atoms through atomic bonds. Subgraphs can represent different molecular domains. These domains can be biologically significant as most molecules only have portions that are of functional significance and can interact with other domains. Thus, we use subgraphs as features in different machine learning algorithms to predict if two drugs interact and predict potential single molecule effects.
- We derive computationally tractable methods to select a small subset of experiment settings from a large pool of given design points. The primary focus is on linear regression models, while the technique extends to generalized linear models and Delta's method (estimating functions of linear regression models) as well. The algorithms are based on a continuous relaxation of an otherwise intractable combinatorial optimization problem, with sampling or greedy procedures as post-processing steps. Formal approximation guarantees are established for both algorithms, and numerical results on both synthetic and real-world data confirm the effectiveness of the proposed methods.
- We study distributed stochastic convex optimization under the delayed gradient model where the server nodes perform parameter updates, while the worker nodes compute stochastic gradients. We discuss, analyze, and experiment with a setup motivated by the behavior of real-world distributed computation networks, where the machines are differently slow at different time. Therefore, we allow the parameter updates to be sensitive to the actual delays experienced, rather than to worst-case bounds on the maximum delay. This sensitivity leads to larger stepsizes, that can help gain rapid initial convergence without having to wait too long for slower machines, while maintaining the same asymptotic complexity. We obtain encouraging improvements to overall convergence for distributed experiments on real datasets with up to billions of examples and features.
- We propose a doubly stochastic primal-dual coordinate optimization algorithm for empirical risk minimization, which can be formulated as a bilinear saddle-point problem. In each iteration, our method randomly samples a block of coordinates of the primal and dual solutions to update. The linear convergence of our method could be established in terms of 1) the distance from the current iterate to the optimal solution and 2) the primal-dual objective gap. We show that the proposed method has a lower overall complexity than existing coordinate methods when either the data matrix has a factorized structure or the proximal mapping on each block is computationally expensive, e.g., involving an eigenvalue decomposition. The efficiency of the proposed method is confirmed by empirical studies on several real applications, such as the multi-task large margin nearest neighbor problem.
- Using sparse-inducing norms to learn robust models has received increasing attention from many fields for its attractive properties. Projection-based methods have been widely applied to learning tasks constrained by such norms. As a key building block of these methods, an efficient operator for Euclidean projection onto the intersection of $\ell_1$ and $\ell_{1,q}$ norm balls $(q=2\text{or}\infty)$ is proposed in this paper. We prove that the projection can be reduced to finding the root of an auxiliary function which is piecewise smooth and monotonic. Hence, a bisection algorithm is sufficient to solve the problem. We show that the time complexity of our solution is $O(n+g\log g)$ for $q=2$ and $O(n\log n)$ for $q=\infty$, where $n$ is the dimensionality of the vector to be projected and $g$ is the number of disjoint groups; we confirm this complexity by experimentation. Empirical study reveals that our method achieves significantly better performance than classical methods in terms of running time and memory usage. We further show that embedded with our efficient projection operator, projection-based algorithms can solve regression problems with composite norm constraints more efficiently than other methods and give superior accuracy.