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Stochastic subgradient for composite convex optimization with functional constraints

Ion Necoara, Nitesh Kumar Singh; 23(265):1−35, 2022.


In this paper we consider optimization problems with stochastic composite objective function subject to (possibly) infinite intersection of constraints. The objective function is expressed in terms of expectation operator over a sum of two terms satisfying a stochastic bounded gradient condition, with or without strong convexity type properties. In contrast to the classical approach, where the constraints are usually represented as intersection of simple sets, in this paper we consider that each constraint set is given as the level set of a convex but not necessarily differentiable function. Based on the flexibility offered by our general optimization model we consider a stochastic subgradient method with random feasibility updates. At each iteration, our algorithm takes a stochastic proximal (sub)gradient step aimed at minimizing the objective function and then a subsequent subgradient step minimizing the feasibility violation of the observed random constraint. We analyze the convergence behavior of the proposed algorithm for diminishing stepsizes and for the case when the objective function is convex or has a quadratic functional growth, unifying the nonsmooth and smooth cases. We prove sublinear convergence rates for this stochastic subgradient algorithm, which are known to be optimal for subgradient methods on this class of problems. When the objective function has a linear least-square form and the constraints are polyhedral, it is shown that the algorithm converges linearly. Numerical evidence supports the effectiveness of our method in real problems.

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