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Decentralized Gossip-Based Stochastic Bilevel Optimization over Communication Networks
Shuoguang Yang · Xuezhou Zhang · Mengdi Wang

Tue Nov 29 02:00 PM -- 04:00 PM (PST) @ Hall J #541
Bilevel optimization have gained growing interests, with numerous applications found in meta learning, minimax games, reinforcement learning, and nested composition optimization. This paper studies the problem of distributed bilevel optimization over a network where agents can only communicate with neighbors, including examples from multi-task, multi-agent learning and federated learning.In this paper, we propose a gossip-based distributed bilevel learning algorithm that allows networked agents to solve both the inner and outer optimization problems in a single timescale and share information via network propagation. We show that our algorithm enjoys the $\mathcal{O}(\frac{1}{K \epsilon^2})$ per-agent sample complexity for general nonconvex bilevel optimization and $\mathcal{O}(\frac{1}{K \epsilon})$ for strongly convex objective, achieving a speedup that scales linearly with the network size. The sample complexities are optimal in both $\epsilon$ and $K$.We test our algorithm on the examples of hyperparameter tuning and decentralized reinforcement learning. Simulated experiments confirmed that our algorithm achieves the state-of-the-art training efficiency and test accuracy.

Author Information

Shuoguang Yang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
Xuezhou Zhang (Princeton University)
Mengdi Wang (Princeton University)

Mengdi Wang is interested in data-driven stochastic optimization and applications in machine and reinforcement learning. She received her PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013. At MIT, Mengdi was affiliated with the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems and was advised by Dimitri P. Bertsekas. Mengdi became an assistant professor at Princeton in 2014. She received the Young Researcher Prize in Continuous Optimization of the Mathematical Optimization Society in 2016 (awarded once every three years).

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