Efficient Globally Convergent Stochastic Optimization for Canonical Correlation Analysis

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

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Weiran Wang, Jialei Wang, Dan Garber, Dan Garber, Nati Srebro


We study the stochastic optimization of canonical correlation analysis (CCA), whose objective is nonconvex and does not decouple over training samples. Although several stochastic gradient based optimization algorithms have been recently proposed to solve this problem, no global convergence guarantee was provided by any of them. Inspired by the alternating least squares/power iterations formulation of CCA, and the shift-and-invert preconditioning method for PCA, we propose two globally convergent meta-algorithms for CCA, both of which transform the original problem into sequences of least squares problems that need only be solved approximately. We instantiate the meta-algorithms with state-of-the-art SGD methods and obtain time complexities that significantly improve upon that of previous work. Experimental results demonstrate their superior performance.