History-Gradient Aided Batch Size Adaptation for Variance Reduced Algorithms

Jul 12, 2020

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Variance-reduced algorithms, although achieve great theoretical performance, can run slowly in practice due to the periodic gradient estimation with a large batch of data. Batch-size adaptation thus arises as a promising approach to accelerate such algorithms. However, existing schemes either apply prescribed batch-size adaption rule or exploit the information along optimization path via additional backtracking and condition verification steps. In this paper, we propose a novel scheme, which eliminates backtracking line search but still exploits the information along optimization path by adapting the batch size via history stochastic gradients. We further theoretically show that such a scheme substantially reduces the overall complexity for popular variance-reduced algorithms SVRG and SARAH/SPIDER for both conventional nonconvex optimization and reinforcement learning problems. To this end, we develop a new convergence analysis framework to handle the dependence of the batch size on history stochastic gradients. Extensive experiments validate the effectiveness of the proposed batch-size adaptation scheme.

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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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