A First-Order Algorithmic Framework for Distributionally Robust Logistic Regression

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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JIAJIN LI, SEN HUANG, Anthony Man-Cho So


Wasserstein distance-based distributionally robust optimization (DRO) has received much attention lately due to its ability to provide a robustness interpretation of various learning models. Moreover, many of the DRO problems that arise in the learning context admits exact convex reformulations and hence can be tackled by off-the-shelf solvers. Nevertheless, the use of such solvers severely limits the applicability of DRO in large-scale learning problems, as they often rely on general purpose interior-point algorithms. On the other hand, there are very few works that attempt to develop fast iterative methods to solve these DRO problems, which typically possess complicated structures. In this paper, we take a first step towards resolving the above difficulty by developing a first-order algorithmic framework for tackling a class of Wasserstein distance-based distributionally robust logistic regression (DRLR) problem. Specifically, we propose a novel linearized proximal ADMM to solve the DRLR problem, whose objective is convex but consists of a smooth term plus two non-separable non-smooth terms. We prove that our method enjoys a sublinear convergence rate. Furthermore, we conduct three different experiments to show its superb performance on both synthetic and real-world datasets. In particular, our method can achieve the same accuracy up to 800+ times faster than the standard off-the-shelf solver.