Abstract: Quasar convexity is a condition that allows some first-order methods to efficiently minimize a function even when the optimization landscape is non-convex. Previous works develop near-optimal accelerated algorithms for minimizing this class of functions, however, they require a subroutine of binary search which results in multiple calls to gradient evaluations in each iteration, and consequently the total number of gradient evaluations does not match a known lower bound. In this work, we show that a recently proposed continuized Nesterov acceleration can be applied to minimizing quasar convex functions and achieves the optimal bound with a high probability. Furthermore, we find that the objective functions of training generalized linear models (GLMs) satisfy quasar convexity, which broadens the applicability of the relevant algorithms, while known practical examples of quasar convexity in non-convex learning are sparse in the literature. We also show that if a smooth and one-point strongly convex, Polyak-Lojasiewicz, or quadratic-growth function satisfies quasar convexity, then attaining an accelerated linear rate for minimizing the function is possible under certain conditions, while acceleration is not known in general for these classes of functions.
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