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Abstract:We consider the problem of sampling from a $d$-dimensional log-concave distribution $\pi(\theta) \propto \exp(-f(\theta))$ for $L$-Lipschitz $f$, constrained to a convex body with an efficiently computable self-concordant barrier function, contained in a ball of radius $R$ with a $w$-warm start. We propose a \emph{robust} sampling framework that computes spectral approximations to the Hessian of the barrier functions in each iteration. We prove that for polytopes that are described by $n$ hyperplanes, sampling with the Lee-Sidford barrier function mixes within $\widetilde O((d^2+dL^2R^2)\log(w/\delta))$ steps with a per step cost of $\widetilde O(nd^{\omega-1})$, where $\omega\approx 2.37$ is the fast matrix multiplication exponent. Compared to the prior work of Mangoubi and Vishnoi, our approach gives faster mixing time as we are able to design a generalized soft-threshold Dikin walk beyond log-barrier. We further extend our result to show how to sample from a $d$-dimensional spectrahedron, the constrained set of a semidefinite program, specified by the set $\{x\in \mathbb{R}^d: \sum_{i=1}^d x_i A_i \succeq C \}$ where $A_1,\ldots,A_d, C$ are $n\times n$ real symmetric matrices. We design a walk that mixes in $\widetilde O((nd+dL^2R^2)\log(w/\delta))$ steps with a per iteration cost of $\widetilde O(n^\omega+n^2d^{3\omega-5})$. We improve the mixing time bound of prior best Dikin walk due to Narayanan and Rakhlin that mixes in $\widetilde O((n^2d^3+n^2dL^2R^2)\log(w/\delta))$ steps.

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Abstract:Large language models have shown impressive performance in many tasks. One of the major features from the computation perspective is computing the attention matrix. Previous works [Zandieh, Han, Daliri, and Karba 2023, Alman and Song 2023] have formally studied the possibility and impossibility of approximating the attention matrix. In this work, we define and study a new problem which is called the attention kernel regression problem. We show how to solve the attention kernel regression in the input sparsity time of the data matrix.

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Abstract:Quadratic programming is a fundamental problem in the field of convex optimization. Many practical tasks can be formulated as quadratic programming, for example, the support vector machine (SVM). Linear SVM is one of the most popular tools over the last three decades in machine learning before deep learning method dominating. In general, a quadratic program has input size $\Theta(n^2)$ (where $n$ is the number of variables), thus takes $\Omega(n^2)$ time to solve. Nevertheless, quadratic programs coming from SVMs has input size $O(n)$, allowing the possibility of designing nearly-linear time algorithms. Two important classes of SVMs are programs admitting low-rank kernel factorizations and low-treewidth programs. Low-treewidth convex optimization has gained increasing interest in the past few years (e.g.~linear programming [Dong, Lee and Ye 2021] and semidefinite programming [Gu and Song 2022]). Therefore, an important open question is whether there exist nearly-linear time algorithms for quadratic programs with these nice structures. In this work, we provide the first nearly-linear time algorithm for solving quadratic programming with low-rank factorization or low-treewidth, and a small number of linear constraints. Our results imply nearly-linear time algorithms for low-treewidth or low-rank SVMs.

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Abstract:Weighted low rank approximation is a fundamental problem in numerical linear algebra, and it has many applications in machine learning. Given a matrix $M \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times n}$, a weight matrix $W \in \mathbb{R}_{\geq 0}^{n \times n}$, a parameter $k$, the goal is to output two matrices $U, V \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times k}$ such that $\| W \circ (M - U V) \|_F$ is minimized, where $\circ$ denotes the Hadamard product. Such a problem is known to be NP-hard and even hard to approximate [RSW16]. Meanwhile, alternating minimization is a good heuristic solution for approximating weighted low rank approximation. The work [LLR16] shows that, under mild assumptions, alternating minimization does provide provable guarantees. In this work, we develop an efficient and robust framework for alternating minimization. For weighted low rank approximation, this improves the runtime of [LLR16] from $n^2 k^2$ to $n^2k$. At the heart of our work framework is a high-accuracy multiple response regression solver together with a robust analysis of alternating minimization.

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Abstract:Given a matrix $M\in \mathbb{R}^{m\times n}$, the low rank matrix completion problem asks us to find a rank-$k$ approximation of $M$ as $UV^\top$ for $U\in \mathbb{R}^{m\times k}$ and $V\in \mathbb{R}^{n\times k}$ by only observing a few entries masked by a binary matrix $P_{\Omega}\in \{0, 1 \}^{m\times n}$. As a particular instance of the weighted low rank approximation problem, solving low rank matrix completion is known to be computationally hard even to find an approximate solution [RSW16]. However, due to its practical importance, many heuristics have been proposed for this problem. In the seminal work of Jain, Netrapalli, and Sanghavi [JNS13], they show that the alternating minimization framework provides provable guarantees for low rank matrix completion problem whenever $M$ admits an incoherent low rank factorization. Unfortunately, their algorithm requires solving two exact multiple response regressions per iteration and their analysis is non-robust as they exploit the structure of the exact solution. In this paper, we take a major step towards a more efficient and robust alternating minimization framework for low rank matrix completion. Our main result is a robust alternating minimization algorithm that can tolerate moderate errors even though the regressions are solved approximately. Consequently, we also significantly improve the running time of [JNS13] from $\widetilde{O}(mnk^2 )$ to $\widetilde{O}(mnk )$ which is nearly linear in the problem size, as verifying the low rank approximation takes $O(mnk)$ time. Our core algorithmic building block is a high accuracy regression solver that solves the regression in nearly linear time per iteration.

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Abstract:Given a matrix $A\in \mathbb{R}^{n\times d}$ and a vector $b\in \mathbb{R}^n$, we consider the regression problem with $\ell_\infty$ guarantees: finding a vector $x'\in \mathbb{R}^d$ such that $ \|x'-x^*\|_\infty \leq \frac{\epsilon}{\sqrt{d}}\cdot \|Ax^*-b\|_2\cdot \|A^\dagger\|$ where $x^*=\arg\min_{x\in \mathbb{R}^d}\|Ax-b\|_2$. One popular approach for solving such $\ell_2$ regression problem is via sketching: picking a structured random matrix $S\in \mathbb{R}^{m\times n}$ with $m\ll n$ and $SA$ can be quickly computed, solve the ``sketched'' regression problem $\arg\min_{x\in \mathbb{R}^d} \|SAx-Sb\|_2$. In this paper, we show that in order to obtain such $\ell_\infty$ guarantee for $\ell_2$ regression, one has to use sketching matrices that are dense. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first user case in which dense sketching matrices are necessary. On the algorithmic side, we prove that there exists a distribution of dense sketching matrices with $m=\epsilon^{-2}d\log^3(n/\delta)$ such that solving the sketched regression problem gives the $\ell_\infty$ guarantee, with probability at least $1-\delta$. Moreover, the matrix $SA$ can be computed in time $O(nd\log n)$. Our row count is nearly-optimal up to logarithmic factors, and significantly improves the result in [Price, Song and Woodruff, ICALP'17], in which a super-linear in $d$ rows, $m=\Omega(\epsilon^{-2}d^{1+\gamma})$ for $\gamma=\Theta(\sqrt{\frac{\log\log n}{\log d}})$ is required. We also develop a novel analytical framework for $\ell_\infty$ guarantee regression that utilizes the Oblivious Coordinate-wise Embedding (OCE) property introduced in [Song and Yu, ICML'21]. Our analysis is arguably much simpler and more general than [Price, Song and Woodruff, ICALP'17], and it extends to dense sketches for tensor product of vectors.

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Abstract:Sketching is one of the most fundamental tools in large-scale machine learning. It enables runtime and memory saving via randomly compressing the original large problem onto lower dimensions. In this paper, we propose a novel sketching scheme for the first order method in large-scale distributed learning setting, such that the communication costs between distributed agents are saved while the convergence of the algorithms is still guaranteed. Given gradient information in a high dimension $d$, the agent passes the compressed information processed by a sketching matrix $R\in \R^{s\times d}$ with $s\ll d$, and the receiver de-compressed via the de-sketching matrix $R^\top$ to ``recover'' the information in original dimension. Using such a framework, we develop algorithms for federated learning with lower communication costs. However, such random sketching does not protect the privacy of local data directly. We show that the gradient leakage problem still exists after applying the sketching technique by showing a specific gradient attack method. As a remedy, we prove rigorously that the algorithm will be differentially private by adding additional random noises in gradient information, which results in a both communication-efficient and differentially private first order approach for federated learning tasks. Our sketching scheme can be further generalized to other learning settings and might be of independent interest itself.

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Abstract:In this work, we initiate the study of \emph{Dynamic Tensor Product Regression}. One has matrices $A_1\in \mathbb{R}^{n_1\times d_1},\ldots,A_q\in \mathbb{R}^{n_q\times d_q}$ and a label vector $b\in \mathbb{R}^{n_1\ldots n_q}$, and the goal is to solve the regression problem with the design matrix $A$ being the tensor product of the matrices $A_1, A_2, \dots, A_q$ i.e. $\min_{x\in \mathbb{R}^{d_1\ldots d_q}}~\|(A_1\otimes \ldots\otimes A_q)x-b\|_2$. At each time step, one matrix $A_i$ receives a sparse change, and the goal is to maintain a sketch of the tensor product $A_1\otimes\ldots \otimes A_q$ so that the regression solution can be updated quickly. Recomputing the solution from scratch for each round is very slow and so it is important to develop algorithms which can quickly update the solution with the new design matrix. Our main result is a dynamic tree data structure where any update to a single matrix can be propagated quickly throughout the tree. We show that our data structure can be used to solve dynamic versions of not only Tensor Product Regression, but also Tensor Product Spline regression (which is a generalization of ridge regression) and for maintaining Low Rank Approximations for the tensor product.

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Abstract:We consider the problem of training a multi-layer over-parametrized neural networks to minimize the empirical risk induced by a loss function. In the typical setting of over-parametrization, the network width $m$ is much larger than the data dimension $d$ and number of training samples $n$ ($m=\mathrm{poly}(n,d)$), which induces a prohibitive large weight matrix $W\in \mathbb{R}^{m\times m}$ per layer. Naively, one has to pay $O(m^2)$ time to read the weight matrix and evaluate the neural network function in both forward and backward computation. In this work, we show how to reduce the training cost per iteration, specifically, we propose a framework that uses $m^2$ cost only in the initialization phase and achieves a truly subquadratic cost per iteration in terms of $m$, i.e., $m^{2-\Omega(1)}$ per iteration. To obtain this result, we make use of various techniques, including a shifted ReLU-based sparsifier, a lazy low rank maintenance data structure, fast rectangular matrix multiplication, tensor-based sketching techniques and preconditioning.

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Abstract:Kernel methods are fundamental in machine learning, and faster algorithms for kernel approximation provide direct speedups for many core tasks in machine learning. The polynomial kernel is especially important as other kernels can often be approximated by the polynomial kernel via a Taylor series expansion. Recent techniques in oblivious sketching reduce the dependence in the running time on the degree $q$ of the polynomial kernel from exponential to polynomial, which is useful for the Gaussian kernel, for which $q$ can be chosen to be polylogarithmic. However, for more slowly growing kernels, such as the neural tangent and arc-cosine kernels, $q$ needs to be polynomial, and previous work incurs a polynomial factor slowdown in the running time. We give a new oblivious sketch which greatly improves upon this running time, by removing the dependence on $q$ in the leading order term. Combined with a novel sampling scheme, we give the fastest algorithms for approximating a large family of slow-growing kernels.

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