Block Low-Rank Preconditioner with Shared Basis for Stochastic Optimization

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Jui-Nan Yen, Sai Surya Duvvuri, Inderjit Dhillon, Cho-Jui Hsieh


Adaptive methods with non-diagonal preconditioning have shown state-of-the-art results on various tasks. However, their computational complexity and memory requirement makes it challenging to scale these methods to modern neural network architectures. To address this challenge, some previous works have adopted block-diagonal preconditioners. However, the memory cost of storing the block-diagonal matrix remains substantial, leading to the use of smaller block sizes and ultimately resulting in suboptimal performance. To reduce the time and memory complexity without sacrificing performance, we propose approximating each diagonal block of the second moment matrix by low-rank matrices and enforcing the same basis for the blocks within each layer. We provide theoretical justification for such sharing and design an algorithm to efficiently maintain this shared-basis block low-rank approximation during training. Our results on a deep autoencoder and a transformer benchmark demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms first-order methods with slightly more time and memory usage, while also achieving competitive or superior performance compared to other second-order methods with less time and memory usage.