ML p(r)ior | NEXT: In-Network Nonconvex Optimization

NEXT: In-Network Nonconvex Optimization

2016-02-01
1602.00591 | cs.DC
We study nonconvex distributed optimization in multi-agent networks with time-varying (nonsymmetric) connectivity. We introduce the first algorithmic framework for the distributed minimization of the sum of a smooth (possibly nonconvex and nonseparable) function - the agents' sum-utility - plus a convex (possibly nonsmooth and nonseparable) regularizer. The latter is usually employed to enforce some structure in the solution, typically sparsity. The proposed method hinges on successive convex approximation techniques while leveraging dynamic consensus as a mechanism to distribute the computation among the agents: each agent first solves (possibly inexactly) a local convex approximation of the nonconvex original problem, and then performs local averaging operations. Asymptotic convergence to (stationary) solutions of the nonconvex problem is established. Our algorithmic framework is then customized to a variety of convex and nonconvex problems in several fields, including signal processing, communications, networking, and machine learning. Numerical results show that the new method compares favorably to existing distributed algorithms on both convex and nonconvex problems.
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