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Weighted SGD for $\ell_p$ Regression with Randomized Preconditioning

Jiyan Yang, Yin-Lam Chow, Christopher Ré, Michael W. Mahoney; 18(211):1−43, 2018.


In recent years, stochastic gradient descent (SGD) methods and randomized linear algebra (RLA) algorithms have been applied to many large-scale problems in machine learning and data analysis. SGD methods are easy to implement and applicable to a wide range of convex optimization problems. In contrast, RLA algorithms provide much stronger performance guarantees but are applicable to a narrower class of problems. We aim to bridge the gap between these two methods in solving constrained overdetermined linear regression problems---e.g., $\ell_2$ and $\ell_1$ regression problems.

We also provide lower bounds on the coreset complexity for more general regression problems, indicating that still new ideas will be needed to extend similar RLA preconditioning ideas to weighted SGD algorithms for more general regression problems. Finally, the effectiveness of such algorithms is illustrated numerically on both synthetic and real datasets, and the results are consistent with our theoretical findings and demonstrate that PWSGD converges to a medium- precision solution, e.g., $\epsilon=10^{-3}$, more quickly.

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