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Authors:Elizabeth Collins-Woodfin, Inbar Seroussi, Begoña García Malaxechebarría, Andrew W. Mackenzie, Elliot Paquette, Courtney Paquette

Abstract:We develop a framework for analyzing the training and learning rate dynamics on a large class of high-dimensional optimization problems, which we call the high line, trained using one-pass stochastic gradient descent (SGD) with adaptive learning rates. We give exact expressions for the risk and learning rate curves in terms of a deterministic solution to a system of ODEs. We then investigate in detail two adaptive learning rates -- an idealized exact line search and AdaGrad-Norm -- on the least squares problem. When the data covariance matrix has strictly positive eigenvalues, this idealized exact line search strategy can exhibit arbitrarily slower convergence when compared to the optimal fixed learning rate with SGD. Moreover we exactly characterize the limiting learning rate (as time goes to infinity) for line search in the setting where the data covariance has only two distinct eigenvalues. For noiseless targets, we further demonstrate that the AdaGrad-Norm learning rate converges to a deterministic constant inversely proportional to the average eigenvalue of the data covariance matrix, and identify a phase transition when the covariance density of eigenvalues follows a power law distribution.

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