Stochastic Distributed Learning with Gradient Quantization and Variance Reduction

10 Apr 2019  ·  Horváth Samuel, Kovalev Dmitry, Mishchenko Konstantin, Stich Sebastian, Richtárik Peter ·

We consider distributed optimization where the objective function is spread among different devices, each sending incremental model updates to a central server. To alleviate the communication bottleneck, recent work proposed various schemes to compress (e.g.\ quantize or sparsify) the gradients, thereby introducing additional variance $\omega \geq 1$ that might slow down convergence... For strongly convex functions with condition number $\kappa$ distributed among $n$ machines, we (i) give a scheme that converges in $\mathcal{O}((\kappa + \kappa \frac{\omega}{n} + \omega)$ $\log (1/\epsilon))$ steps to a neighborhood of the optimal solution. For objective functions with a finite-sum structure, each worker having less than $m$ components, we (ii) present novel variance reduced schemes that converge in $\mathcal{O}((\kappa + \kappa \frac{\omega}{n} + \omega + m)\log(1/\epsilon))$ steps to arbitrary accuracy $\epsilon > 0$. These are the first methods that achieve linear convergence for arbitrary quantized updates. We also (iii) give analysis for the weakly convex and non-convex cases and (iv) verify in experiments that our novel variance reduced schemes are more efficient than the baselines. read more

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Optimization and Control