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Complex Momentum for Optimization in Games

Jonathan Lorraine · David Acuna · Paul Vicol · David Duvenaud


We generalize gradient descent with momentum for optimization in differentiable games to have complex-valued momentum. We give theoretical motivation for our method by proving convergence on bilinear zero-sum games for simultaneous and alternating updates. Our method gives real-valued parameter updates, making it a drop-in replacement for standard optimizers. We empirically demonstrate that complex-valued momentum can improve convergence in realistic adversarial games—like generative adversarial networks—by showing we can find better solutions with an almost identical computational cost. We also show a practical complex-valued Adam variant, which we use to train BigGAN to improve inception scores on CIFAR-10.

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