An Alternating Optimization Method for Bilevel Problems under the Polyak-Łojasiewicz Condition

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: Bilevel optimization, nonconvex constrained optimization, convergence analysis
TL;DR: Bilevel optimization with the nonconvex lower-level problem
Abstract: Bilevel optimization has recently regained interest owing to its applications in emerging machine learning fields such as hyperparameter optimization, meta-learning, and reinforcement learning. Recent results have shown that simple alternating (implicit) gradient-based algorithms can match the convergence rate of single-level gradient descent (GD) when addressing bilevel problems with a strongly convex lower-level objective. However, it remains unclear whether this result can be generalized to bilevel problems beyond this basic setting. In this paper, we first introduce a stationary metric for the considered bilevel problems, which generalizes the existing metric, for a nonconvex lower-level objective that satisfies the Polyak-Łojasiewicz (PL) condition. We then propose a Generalized ALternating mEthod for bilevel opTimization (GALET) tailored to BLO with convex PL LL problem and establish that GALET achieves an $\epsilon$-stationary point for the considered problem within $\tilde{\cal O}(\epsilon^{-1})$ iterations, which matches the iteration complexity of GD for single-level smooth nonconvex problems.
Supplementary Material: pdf
Submission Number: 9206