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Distributed Online Convex Optimization with Compressed Communication

Zhipeng Tu · Xi Wang · Yiguang Hong · Lei Wang · Deming Yuan · Guodong Shi

Keywords: [ compressed communication ] [ no-regret algorithm ] [ distributed online optimization ]


We consider a distributed online convex optimization problem when streaming data are distributed among computing agents over a connected communication network. Since the data are high-dimensional or the network is large-scale, communication load can be a bottleneck for the efficiency of distributed algorithms. To tackle this bottleneck, we apply the state-of-art data compression scheme to the fundamental GD-based distributed online algorithms. Three algorithms with difference-compressed communication are proposed for full information feedback (DC-DOGD), one-point bandit feedback (DC-DOBD), and two-point bandit feedback (DC-DO2BD), respectively. We obtain regret bounds explicitly in terms of time horizon, compression ratio, decision dimension, agent number, and network parameters. Our algorithms are proved to be no-regret and match the same regret bounds, w.r.t. time horizon, with their uncompressed versions for both convex and strongly convex losses. Numerical experiments are given to validate the theoretical findings and illustrate that the proposed algorithms can effectively reduce the total transmitted bits for distributed online training compared with the uncompressed baseline.

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