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Workshop: OPT 2021: Optimization for Machine Learning

On the convergence of stochastic extragradient for bilinear games using restarted iteration averaging

Chris Junchi Li · Yaodong Yu · Nicolas Loizou · Gauthier Gidel · Yi Ma · Nicolas Le Roux perso · Michael Jordan


We study the stochastic bilinear minimax optimization problem, presenting an analysis of the same-sample Stochastic ExtraGradient (SEG) method with constant step size, and presenting variations of the method that yield favorable convergence. We first note that the last iterate of the basic SEG method only contracts to a fixed neighborhood of the Nash equilibrium, independent of the step size. This contrasts sharply with the standard setting of minimization where standard stochastic algorithms converge to a neighborhood that vanishes in proportion to the square-root (constant) step size. Under the same setting, however, we prove that when augmented with iteration averaging, SEG provably converges to the Nash equilibrium, and such a rate is provably accelerated by incorporating a scheduled restarting procedure. In the interpolation setting, we achieve an optimal convergence rate up to tight constants. We present numerical experiments that validate our theoretical findings and demonstrate the effectiveness of the SEG method when equipped with iteration averaging and restarting.