Accelerated Proximal Gradient Methods for Nonconvex Programming

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Huan Li, Zhouchen Lin


Nonconvex and nonsmooth problems have recently received considerable attention in signal/image processing, statistics and machine learning. However, solving the nonconvex and nonsmooth optimization problems remains a big challenge. Accelerated proximal gradient (APG) is an excellent method for convex programming. However, it is still unknown whether the usual APG can ensure the convergence to a critical point in nonconvex programming. To address this issue, we introduce a monitor-corrector step and extend APG for general nonconvex and nonsmooth programs. Accordingly, we propose a monotone APG and a non-monotone APG. The latter waives the requirement on monotonic reduction of the objective function and needs less computation in each iteration. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first to provide APG-type algorithms for general nonconvex and nonsmooth problems ensuring that every accumulation point is a critical point, and the convergence rates remain $O(1/k^2)$ when the problems are convex, in which k is the number of iterations. Numerical results testify to the advantage of our algorithms in speed.