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Hogwild! over Distributed Local Data Sets with Linearly Increasing Mini-Batch Sizes

Nhuong Nguyen · Toan Nguyen · PHUONG HA NGUYEN · Quoc Tran-Dinh · Lam Nguyen · Marten van Dijk


Keywords: [ Algorithms, Optimization and Computation Methods ] [ Convex optimization ]


Hogwild! implements asynchronous Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) where multiple threads in parallel access a common repository containing training data, perform SGD iterations and update shared state that represents a jointly learned (global) model. We consider big data analysis where training data is distributed among local data sets in a heterogeneous way -- and we wish to move SGD computations to local compute nodes where local data resides. The results of these local SGD computations are aggregated by a central ``aggregator'' which mimics Hogwild!. We show how local compute nodes can start choosing small mini-batch sizes which increase to larger ones in order to reduce communication cost (round interaction with the aggregator). We improve state-of-the-art literature and show O(K^{0.5}) communication rounds for heterogeneous data for strongly convex problems, where K is the total number of gradient computations across all local compute nodes. For our scheme, we prove a tight and novel non-trivial convergence analysis for strongly convex problems for heterogeneous data which does not use the bounded gradient assumption as seen in many existing publications. The tightness is a consequence of our proofs for lower and upper bounds of the convergence rate, which show a constant factor difference. We show experimental results for plain convex and non-convex problems for biased (i.e., heterogeneous) and unbiased local data sets.

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