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Arun Jambulapati, Jerry Li, Christopher Musco, Kirankumar Shiragur, Aaron Sidford, Kevin Tian

We develop a general framework for finding approximately-optimal preconditioners for solving linear systems. Leveraging this framework we obtain improved runtimes for fundamental preconditioning and linear system solving problems including the following. We give an algorithm which, given positive definite $\mathbf{K} \in \mathbb{R}^{d \times d}$ with $\mathrm{nnz}(\mathbf{K})$ nonzero entries, computes an $\epsilon$-optimal diagonal preconditioner in time $\widetilde{O}(\mathrm{nnz}(\mathbf{K}) \cdot \mathrm{poly}(\kappa^\star,\epsilon^{-1}))$, where $\kappa^\star$ is the optimal condition number of the rescaled matrix. We give an algorithm which, given $\mathbf{M} \in \mathbb{R}^{d \times d}$ that is either the pseudoinverse of a graph Laplacian matrix or a constant spectral approximation of one, solves linear systems in $\mathbf{M}$ in $\widetilde{O}(d^2)$ time. Our diagonal preconditioning results improve state-of-the-art runtimes of $\Omega(d^{3.5})$ attained by general-purpose semidefinite programming, and our solvers improve state-of-the-art runtimes of $\Omega(d^{\omega})$ where $\omega > 2.3$ is the current matrix multiplication constant. We attain our results via new algorithms for a class of semidefinite programs (SDPs) we call matrix-dictionary approximation SDPs, which we leverage to solve an associated problem we call matrix-dictionary recovery.

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Jonathan A. Kelner, Jerry Li, Allen Liu, Aaron Sidford, Kevin Tian

We give a new framework for solving the fundamental problem of low-rank matrix completion, i.e., approximating a rank-$r$ matrix $\mathbf{M} \in \mathbb{R}^{m \times n}$ (where $m \ge n$) from random observations. First, we provide an algorithm which completes $\mathbf{M}$ on $99\%$ of rows and columns under no further assumptions on $\mathbf{M}$ from $\approx mr$ samples and using $\approx mr^2$ time. Then, assuming the row and column spans of $\mathbf{M}$ satisfy additional regularity properties, we show how to boost this partial completion guarantee to a full matrix completion algorithm by aggregating solutions to regression problems involving the observations. In the well-studied setting where $\mathbf{M}$ has incoherent row and column spans, our algorithms complete $\mathbf{M}$ to high precision from $mr^{2+o(1)}$ observations in $mr^{3 + o(1)}$ time (omitting logarithmic factors in problem parameters), improving upon the prior state-of-the-art [JN15] which used $\approx mr^5$ samples and $\approx mr^7$ time. Under an assumption on the row and column spans of $\mathbf{M}$ we introduce (which is satisfied by random subspaces with high probability), our sample complexity improves to an almost information-theoretically optimal $mr^{1 + o(1)}$, and our runtime improves to $mr^{2 + o(1)}$. Our runtimes have the appealing property of matching the best known runtime to verify that a rank-$r$ decomposition $\mathbf{U}\mathbf{V}^\top$ agrees with the sampled observations. We also provide robust variants of our algorithms that, given random observations from $\mathbf{M} + \mathbf{N}$ with $\|\mathbf{N}\|_{F} \le \Delta$, complete $\mathbf{M}$ to Frobenius norm distance $\approx r^{1.5}\Delta$ in the same runtimes as the noiseless setting. Prior noisy matrix completion algorithms [CP10] only guaranteed a distance of $\approx \sqrt{n}\Delta$.

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Sivakanth Gopi, Yin Tat Lee, Daogao Liu, Ruoqi Shen, Kevin Tian

The development of efficient sampling algorithms catering to non-Euclidean geometries has been a challenging endeavor, as discretization techniques which succeed in the Euclidean setting do not readily carry over to more general settings. We develop a non-Euclidean analog of the recent proximal sampler of [LST21], which naturally induces regularization by an object known as the log-Laplace transform (LLT) of a density. We prove new mathematical properties (with an algorithmic flavor) of the LLT, such as strong convexity-smoothness duality and an isoperimetric inequality, which are used to prove a mixing time on our proximal sampler matching [LST21] under a warm start. As our main application, we show our warm-started sampler improves the value oracle complexity of differentially private convex optimization in $\ell_p$ and Schatten-$p$ norms for $p \in [1, 2]$ to match the Euclidean setting [GLL22], while retaining state-of-the-art excess risk bounds [GLLST23]. We find our investigation of the LLT to be a promising proof-of-concept of its utility as a tool for designing samplers, and outline directions for future exploration.

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Yair Carmon, Arun Jambulapati, Yujia Jin, Yin Tat Lee, Daogao Liu, Aaron Sidford, Kevin Tian

We introduce a new tool for stochastic convex optimization (SCO): a Reweighted Stochastic Query (ReSQue) estimator for the gradient of a function convolved with a (Gaussian) probability density. Combining ReSQue with recent advances in ball oracle acceleration [CJJJLST20, ACJJS21], we develop algorithms achieving state-of-the-art complexities for SCO in parallel and private settings. For a SCO objective constrained to the unit ball in $\mathbb{R}^d$, we obtain the following results (up to polylogarithmic factors). We give a parallel algorithm obtaining optimization error $\epsilon_{\text{opt}}$ with $d^{1/3}\epsilon_{\text{opt}}^{-2/3}$ gradient oracle query depth and $d^{1/3}\epsilon_{\text{opt}}^{-2/3} + \epsilon_{\text{opt}}^{-2}$ gradient queries in total, assuming access to a bounded-variance stochastic gradient estimator. For $\epsilon_{\text{opt}} \in [d^{-1}, d^{-1/4}]$, our algorithm matches the state-of-the-art oracle depth of [BJLLS19] while maintaining the optimal total work of stochastic gradient descent. We give an $(\epsilon_{\text{dp}}, \delta)$-differentially private algorithm which, given $n$ samples of Lipschitz loss functions, obtains near-optimal optimization error and makes $\min(n, n^2\epsilon_{\text{dp}}^2 d^{-1}) + \min(n^{4/3}\epsilon_{\text{dp}}^{1/3}, (nd)^{2/3}\epsilon_{\text{dp}}^{-1})$ queries to the gradients of these functions. In the regime $d \le n \epsilon_{\text{dp}}^{2}$, where privacy comes at no cost in terms of the optimal loss up to constants, our algorithm uses $n + (nd)^{2/3}\epsilon_{\text{dp}}^{-1}$ queries and improves recent advancements of [KLL21, AFKT21]. In the moderately low-dimensional setting $d \le \sqrt n \epsilon_{\text{dp}}^{3/2}$, our query complexity is near-linear.

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Sivakanth Gopi, Yin Tat Lee, Daogao Liu, Ruoqi Shen, Kevin Tian

We propose a new framework for differentially private optimization of convex functions which are Lipschitz in an arbitrary norm $\normx{\cdot}$. Our algorithms are based on a regularized exponential mechanism which samples from the density $\propto \exp(-k(F+\mu r))$ where $F$ is the empirical loss and $r$ is a regularizer which is strongly convex with respect to $\normx{\cdot}$, generalizing a recent work of \cite{GLL22} to non-Euclidean settings. We show that this mechanism satisfies Gaussian differential privacy and solves both DP-ERM (empirical risk minimization) and DP-SCO (stochastic convex optimization), by using localization tools from convex geometry. Our framework is the first to apply to private convex optimization in general normed spaces, and directly recovers non-private SCO rates achieved by mirror descent, as the privacy parameter $\eps \to \infty$. As applications, for Lipschitz optimization in $\ell_p$ norms for all $p \in (1, 2)$, we obtain the first optimal privacy-utility tradeoffs; for $p = 1$, we improve tradeoffs obtained by the recent works \cite{AsiFKT21, BassilyGN21} by at least a logarithmic factor. Our $\ell_p$ norm and Schatten-$p$ norm optimization frameworks are complemented with polynomial-time samplers whose query complexity we explicitly bound.

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Jonathan A. Kelner, Jerry Li, Allen Liu, Aaron Sidford, Kevin Tian

Sparse recovery is one of the most fundamental and well-studied inverse problems. Standard statistical formulations of the problem are provably solved by general convex programming techniques and more practical, fast (nearly-linear time) iterative methods. However, these latter "fast algorithms" have previously been observed to be brittle in various real-world settings. We investigate the brittleness of fast sparse recovery algorithms to generative model changes through the lens of studying their robustness to a "helpful" semi-random adversary, a framework which tests whether an algorithm overfits to input assumptions. We consider the following basic model: let $\mathbf{A} \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times d}$ be a measurement matrix which contains an unknown subset of rows $\mathbf{G} \in \mathbb{R}^{m \times d}$ which are bounded and satisfy the restricted isometry property (RIP), but is otherwise arbitrary. Letting $x^\star \in \mathbb{R}^d$ be $s$-sparse, and given either exact measurements $b = \mathbf{A} x^\star$ or noisy measurements $b = \mathbf{A} x^\star + \xi$, we design algorithms recovering $x^\star$ information-theoretically optimally in nearly-linear time. We extend our algorithm to hold for weaker generative models relaxing our planted RIP assumption to a natural weighted variant, and show that our method's guarantees naturally interpolate the quality of the measurement matrix to, in some parameter regimes, run in sublinear time. Our approach differs from prior fast iterative methods with provable guarantees under semi-random generative models: natural conditions on a submatrix which make sparse recovery tractable are NP-hard to verify. We design a new iterative method tailored to the geometry of sparse recovery which is provably robust to our semi-random model. We hope our approach opens the door to new robust, efficient algorithms for natural statistical inverse problems.

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Yujia Jin, Aaron Sidford, Kevin Tian

We design accelerated algorithms with improved rates for several fundamental classes of optimization problems. Our algorithms all build upon techniques related to the analysis of primal-dual extragradient methods via relative Lipschitzness proposed recently by [CST21]. (1) Separable minimax optimization. We study separable minimax optimization problems $\min_x \max_y f(x) - g(y) + h(x, y)$, where $f$ and $g$ have smoothness and strong convexity parameters $(L^x, \mu^x)$, $(L^y, \mu^y)$, and $h$ is convex-concave with a $(\Lambda^{xx}, \Lambda^{xy}, \Lambda^{yy})$-blockwise operator norm bounded Hessian. We provide an algorithm with gradient query complexity $\tilde{O}\left(\sqrt{\frac{L^{x}}{\mu^{x}}} + \sqrt{\frac{L^{y}}{\mu^{y}}} + \frac{\Lambda^{xx}}{\mu^{x}} + \frac{\Lambda^{xy}}{\sqrt{\mu^{x}\mu^{y}}} + \frac{\Lambda^{yy}}{\mu^{y}}\right)$. Notably, for convex-concave minimax problems with bilinear coupling (e.g.\ quadratics), where $\Lambda^{xx} = \Lambda^{yy} = 0$, our rate matches a lower bound of [ZHZ19]. (2) Finite sum optimization. We study finite sum optimization problems $\min_x \frac{1}{n}\sum_{i\in[n]} f_i(x)$, where each $f_i$ is $L_i$-smooth and the overall problem is $\mu$-strongly convex. We provide an algorithm with gradient query complexity $\tilde{O}\left(n + \sum_{i\in[n]} \sqrt{\frac{L_i}{n\mu}} \right)$. Notably, when the smoothness bounds $\{L_i\}_{i\in[n]}$ are non-uniform, our rate improves upon accelerated SVRG [LMH15, FGKS15] and Katyusha [All17] by up to a $\sqrt{n}$ factor. (3) Minimax finite sums. We generalize our algorithms for minimax and finite sum optimization to solve a natural family of minimax finite sum optimization problems at an accelerated rate, encapsulating both above results up to a logarithmic factor.

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Arun Jambulapati, Jerry Li, Tselil Schramm, Kevin Tian

We study fast algorithms for statistical regression problems under the strong contamination model, where the goal is to approximately optimize a generalized linear model (GLM) given adversarially corrupted samples. Prior works in this line of research were based on the robust gradient descent framework of Prasad et. al., a first-order method using biased gradient queries, or the Sever framework of Diakonikolas et. al., an iterative outlier-removal method calling a stationary point finder. We present nearly-linear time algorithms for robust regression problems with improved runtime or estimation guarantees compared to the state-of-the-art. For the general case of smooth GLMs (e.g. logistic regression), we show that the robust gradient descent framework of Prasad et. al. can be accelerated, and show our algorithm extends to optimizing the Moreau envelopes of Lipschitz GLMs (e.g. support vector machines), answering several open questions in the literature. For the well-studied case of robust linear regression, we present an alternative approach obtaining improved estimation rates over prior nearly-linear time algorithms. Interestingly, our method starts with an identifiability proof introduced in the context of the sum-of-squares algorithm of Bakshi and Prasad, which achieved optimal error rates while requiring large polynomial runtime and sample complexity. We reinterpret their proof within the Sever framework and obtain a dramatically faster and more sample-efficient algorithm under fewer distributional assumptions.

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Ilias Diakonikolas, Daniel M. Kane, Daniel Kongsgaard, Jerry Li, Kevin Tian

We study the problem of list-decodable mean estimation, where an adversary can corrupt a majority of the dataset. Specifically, we are given a set $T$ of $n$ points in $\mathbb{R}^d$ and a parameter $0< \alpha <\frac 1 2$ such that an $\alpha$-fraction of the points in $T$ are i.i.d. samples from a well-behaved distribution $\mathcal{D}$ and the remaining $(1-\alpha)$-fraction of the points are arbitrary. The goal is to output a small list of vectors at least one of which is close to the mean of $\mathcal{D}$. As our main contribution, we develop new algorithms for list-decodable mean estimation, achieving nearly-optimal statistical guarantees, with running time $n^{1 + o(1)} d$. All prior algorithms for this problem had additional polynomial factors in $\frac 1 \alpha$. As a corollary, we obtain the first almost-linear time algorithms for clustering mixtures of $k$ separated well-behaved distributions, nearly-matching the statistical guarantees of spectral methods. Prior clustering algorithms inherently relied on an application of $k$-PCA, thereby incurring runtimes of $\Omega(n d k)$. This marks the first runtime improvement for this basic statistical problem in nearly two decades. The starting point of our approach is a novel and simpler near-linear time robust mean estimation algorithm in the $\alpha \to 1$ regime, based on a one-shot matrix multiplicative weights-inspired potential decrease. We crucially leverage this new algorithmic framework in the context of the iterative multi-filtering technique of Diakonikolas et. al. '18, '20, providing a method to simultaneously cluster and downsample points using one-dimensional projections -- thus, bypassing the $k$-PCA subroutines required by prior algorithms.

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