Momentum Improves Normalized SGD

Jul 12, 2020

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We provide an improved analysis of normalized SGD showing that adding momentum provably removes the need for large batch sizes on non-convex objectives. Then, we consider the case of objectives with bounded second derivative and show that in this case a small tweak to the momentum formula allows normalized SGD with momentum to find an ϵ-critical point in O(1/ϵ^3.5) iterations, matching the best-known rates without accruing any logarithmic factors or dependence on dimension. We provide an adaptive learning rate schedule that automatically improves convergence rates when the variance in the gradients is small. Finally, we show that our method is effective when employed on popular large scale tasks such as ResNet-50 and BERT pretraining, matching the performance of the disparate methods used to get state-of-the-art results on both tasks.

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About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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