Convergence without Convexity: Sampling, Optimization, and Games

Many important problems in contemporary machine learning involve solving highly non- convex problems in sampling, optimization, or games. The absence of convexity poses significant challenges to convergence analysis of most training algorithms, and in some cases (such as min-max games) it is not even known whether common training algorithms converge or not. In this thesis, we aim to partially bridge the gap by 1. Proposing a new sampling framework to transform non-convex problems in to convex ones. 2. Characterizing the convergent sets of a wide family of popular algorithms for min-max optimization. 3. Devising provably convergent algorithms for finding mixed Nash Equilibria of infinite-dimensional bi-affine games. Our theory has several important implications. First, we resolve a decade-old open problem in Bayesian learning via our non-convex sampling framework. Second, our algorithms for bi-affine games apply to the formidably difficult training of generative adversarial networks and robust reinforcement learning, and on both examples we demonstrate promising empirical performance. Finally, our results on min-max optimization lead to a series of negative results for state-of-the-art algorithms, suggesting that one requires fundamentally new tools to advance the theory.


Advisor(s):
Cevher, Volkan
Year:
2020
Publisher:
Lausanne, EPFL
Keywords:
Laboratories:
LIONS


Note: The status of this file is: Anyone


 Record created 2020-09-25, last modified 2020-10-29

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