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GPU Accelerated Sub-Sampled Newton's Method

lib:b9df77c8b21a7ae6 (v1.0.0)

Authors: Sudhir B. Kylasa,Farbod Roosta-Khorasani,Michael W. Mahoney,Ananth Grama
ArXiv: 1802.09113
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Abstract URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1802.09113v2


First order methods, which solely rely on gradient information, are commonly used in diverse machine learning (ML) and data analysis (DA) applications. This is attributed to the simplicity of their implementations, as well as low per-iteration computational/storage costs. However, they suffer from significant disadvantages; most notably, their performance degrades with increasing problem ill-conditioning. Furthermore, they often involve a large number of hyper-parameters, and are notoriously sensitive to parameters such as the step-size. By incorporating additional information from the Hessian, second-order methods, have been shown to be resilient to many such adversarial effects. However, these advantages of using curvature information come at the cost of higher per-iteration costs, which in \enquote{big data} regimes, can be computationally prohibitive. In this paper, we show that, contrary to conventional belief, second-order methods, when implemented appropriately, can be more efficient than first-order alternatives in many large-scale ML/ DA applications. In particular, in convex settings, we consider variants of classical Newton\textsf{'}s method in which the Hessian and/or the gradient are randomly sub-sampled. We show that by effectively leveraging the power of GPUs, such randomized Newton-type algorithms can be significantly accelerated, and can easily outperform state of the art implementations of existing techniques in popular ML/ DA software packages such as TensorFlow. Additionally these randomized methods incur a small memory overhead compared to first-order methods. In particular, we show that for million-dimensional problems, our GPU accelerated sub-sampled Newton\textsf{'}s method achieves a higher test accuracy in milliseconds as compared with tens of seconds for first order alternatives.

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