Random projection for high-dimensional optimization

Abstract : In the digitization age, data becomes cheap and easy to obtain. That results in many new optimization problems with extremely large sizes. In particular, for the same kind of problems, the numbers of variables and constraints are huge. Moreover, in many application settings such as those in Machine learning, an accurate solution is less preferred as approximate but robust ones. It is a real challenge for traditional algorithms, which are used to work well with average-size problems, to deal with these new circumstances.Instead of developing algorithms that scale up well to solve these problems directly, one natural idea is to transform them into small-size problems that strongly relates to the originals. Since the new ones are of manageable sizes, they can still be solved efficiently by classical methods. The solutions obtained by these new problems, however, will provide us insight into the original problems. In this thesis, we will exploit the above idea to solve some high-dimensional optimization problems. In particular, we apply a special technique called random projection to embed the problem data into low dimensional spaces, and approximately reformulate the problem in such a way that it becomes very easy to solve but still captures the most important information. Therefore, by solving the projected problem, we either obtain an approximate solution or an approximate objective value for the original problem.We will apply random projection to study a number of important optimization problems, including linear and integer programming (Chapter 3), convex optimization with linear constraints (Chapter 4), membership and approximate nearest neighbor (Chapter 5) and trust-region subproblems (Chapter 6).In Chapter 3, we study optimization problems in their feasibility forms. In particular, we study the so-called restricted linear membership problem. This class contains many important problems such as linear and integer feasibility. We proposeto apply a random projection to the linear constraints, andwe want to find conditions on T, so that the two feasibility problems are equivalent with high probability.In Chapter 4, we continue to study the above problem in the case the restricted set is a convex set. Under that assumption, we can define a tangent cone at some point with minimal squared error. We establish the relations between the original and projected problems based on the concept of Gaussian width, which is popular in compressed sensing. In particular, we prove thatthe two problems are equivalent with high probability as long as for some random projection sampled from sub-gaussian ensemble with large enough dimension (depends on the gaussian width).In Chapter 5, we study the Euclidean membership problem: ``Given a vector b and a Euclidean closed set X, decide whether b is in Xor not". This is a generalization of the restricted linear membership problem considered previously. We employ a Gaussian random projection T to embed both b and X into a lower dimension space and study the corresponding projected version: ``Decide whether Tb is in T(X) or not". When X is finite or countable, using a straightforward argument, we prove that the two problems are equivalent almost surely regardless the projected dimension. In the case when X may be uncountable, we prove that the original and projected problems are also equivalent if the projected dimension d is proportional to some intrinsic dimension of the set X. In particular, we employ the definition of doubling dimension estimate the relation between the two problems.In Chapter 6, we propose to apply random projections for the trust-region subproblem. We reduce the number of variables by using a random projection and prove that optimal solutions for the new problem are actually approximate solutions of the original. This result can be used in the trust-region framework to study black-box optimization and derivative-free optimization.
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Khac Ky Vu. Random projection for high-dimensional optimization. Optimization and Control [math.OC]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016SACLX031⟩. ⟨tel-01481912⟩

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