An Accelerated Decentralized Stochastic Proximal Algorithm for Finite Sums

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

AuthorFeedback Bibtex MetaReview Metadata Paper Reviews Supplemental


Hadrien Hendrikx, Francis Bach, Laurent Massoulié


Modern large-scale finite-sum optimization relies on two key aspects: distribution and stochastic updates. For smooth and strongly convex problems, existing decentralized algorithms are slower than modern accelerated variance-reduced stochastic algorithms when run on a single machine, and are therefore not efficient. Centralized algorithms are fast, but their scaling is limited by global aggregation steps that result in communication bottlenecks. In this work, we propose an efficient \textbf{A}ccelerated \textbf{D}ecentralized stochastic algorithm for \textbf{F}inite \textbf{S}ums named ADFS, which uses local stochastic proximal updates and randomized pairwise communications between nodes. On $n$ machines, ADFS learns from $nm$ samples in the same time it takes optimal algorithms to learn from $m$ samples on one machine. This scaling holds until a critical network size is reached, which depends on communication delays, on the number of samples $m$, and on the network topology. We provide a theoretical analysis based on a novel augmented graph approach combined with a precise evaluation of synchronization times and an extension of the accelerated proximal coordinate gradient algorithm to arbitrary sampling. We illustrate the improvement of ADFS over state-of-the-art decentralized approaches with experiments.