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The Role of Momentum Parameters in the Optimal Convergence of Adaptive Polyak's Heavy-ball Methods

Wei Tao · sheng long · Gaowei Wu · Qing Tao

Keywords: [ optimal convergence ] [ adaptive heavy-ball methods ] [ momentum methods ] [ deep learning ] [ convex optimization ]

Abstract: The adaptive stochastic gradient descent (SGD) with momentum has been widely adopted in deep learning as well as convex optimization. In practice, the last iterate is commonly used as the final solution. However, the available regret analysis and the setting of constant momentum parameters only guarantee the optimal convergence of the averaged solution. In this paper, we fill this theory-practice gap by investigating the convergence of the last iterate (referred to as {\it individual convergence}), which is a more difficult task than convergence analysis of the averaged solution. Specifically, in the constrained convex cases, we prove that the adaptive Polyak's Heavy-ball (HB) method, in which the step size is only updated using the exponential moving average strategy, attains an individual convergence rate of $O(\frac{1}{\sqrt{t}})$, as opposed to that of $O(\frac{\log t}{\sqrt {t}})$ of SGD, where $t$ is the number of iterations. Our new analysis not only shows how the HB momentum and its time-varying weight help us to achieve the acceleration in convex optimization but also gives valuable hints how the momentum parameters should be scheduled in deep learning. Empirical results validate the correctness of our convergence analysis in optimizing convex functions and demonstrate the improved performance of the adaptive HB methods in training deep networks.

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