ACCELERATING NONCONVEX LEARNING VIA REPLICA EXCHANGE LANGEVIN DIFFUSION

Yi Chen, Jinglin Chen, Jing Dong, Jian Peng, Zhaoran Wang

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Langevin diffusion is a powerful method for nonconvex optimization, which enables the escape from local minima by injecting noise into the gradient. In particular, the temperature parameter controlling the noise level gives rise to a tradeoff between ``global exploration'' and ``local exploitation'', which correspond to high and low temperatures. To attain the advantages of both regimes, we propose to use replica exchange, which swaps between two Langevin diffusions with different temperatures. We theoretically analyze the acceleration effect of replica exchange from two perspectives: (i) the convergence in $\chi^2$-divergence, and (ii) the large deviation principle. Such an acceleration effect allows us to faster approach the global minima. Furthermore, by discretizing the replica exchange Langevin diffusion, we obtain a discrete-time algorithm. For such an algorithm, we quantify its discretization error in theory and demonstrate its acceleration effect in practice.
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