Research Post

Adaptive Gradient Methods Converge Faster with Over-Parameterization (and you can do a line-search)


Adaptive gradient methods are typically used for training over-parameterized models capable of exactly fitting the data; we thus study their convergence in this interpolation setting. Under an interpolation assumption, we prove that AMSGrad with a constant step-size and momentum can converge to the minimizer at the faster O(1/T) rate for smooth, convex functions. Furthermore, in this setting, we show that AdaGrad can achieve an O(1) regret in the online convex optimization framework. When interpolation is only approximately satisfied, we show that constant step-size AMSGrad converges to a neighbourhood of the solution. On the other hand, we prove that AdaGrad is robust to the violation of interpolation and converges to the minimizer at the optimal rate. However, we demonstrate that even for simple, convex problems satisfying interpolation, the empirical performance of these methods heavily depends on the step-size and requires tuning. We alleviate this problem by using stochastic line-search (SLS) and Polyak's step-sizes (SPS) to help these methods adapt to the function's local smoothness. By using these techniques, we prove that AdaGrad and AMSGrad do not require knowledge of problem-dependent constants and retain the convergence guarantees of their constant step-size counterparts. Experimentally, we show that these techniques help improve the convergence and generalization performance across tasks, from binary classification with kernel mappings to classification with deep neural networks.

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