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Convergence of Langevin Monte Carlo in Chi-Squared and Rényi Divergence

Murat Erdogdu · Rasa Hosseinzadeh · Shunshi Zhang

Abstract: We study sampling from a target distribution $\nu_* = e^{-f}$ using the unadjusted Langevin Monte Carlo (LMC) algorithm when the potential $f$ satisfies a strong dissipativity condition and it is first-order smooth with a Lipschitz gradient. We prove that, initialized with a Gaussian random vector that has sufficiently small variance, iterating the LMC algorithm for $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}(\lambda^2 d\epsilon^{-1})$ steps is sufficient to reach $\epsilon$-neighborhood of the target in both Chi-squared and Rényi divergence, where $\lambda$ is the logarithmic Sobolev constant of $\nu_*$. Our results do not require warm-start to deal with the exponential dimension dependency in Chi-squared divergence at initialization.In particular, for strongly convex and first-order smooth potentials, we show that the LMC algorithm achieves the rate estimate $\widetilde{\mathcal{O}}(d\epsilon^{-1})$ which improves the previously known rates in both of these metrics, under the same assumptions. Translating this rate to other metrics, our results also recover the state-of-the-art rate estimates in KL divergence, total variation and $2$-Wasserstein distance in the same setup. Finally, as we rely on the logarithmic Sobolev inequality, our framework covers a range of non-convex potentials that are first-order smooth and exhibit strong convexity outside of a compact region.

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