Lower Complexity Bounds of Finite-Sum Optimization Problems: The Results and Construction

Yuze Han, Guangzeng Xie, Zhihua Zhang

The contribution of this paper includes two aspects. First, we study the lower bound complexity for the minimax optimization problem whose objective function is the average of $n$ individual smooth component functions. We consider Proximal Incremental First-order (PIFO) algorithms which have access to gradient and proximal oracle for each individual component. We develop a novel approach for constructing adversarial problems, which partitions the tridiagonal matrix of classical examples into $n$ groups. This construction is friendly to the analysis of incremental gradient and proximal oracle. With this approach, we demonstrate the lower bounds of first-order algorithms for finding an $\varepsilon$-suboptimal point and an $\varepsilon$-stationary point in different settings. Second, we also derive the lower bounds of minimization optimization with PIFO algorithms from our approach, which can cover the results in \citep{woodworth2016tight} and improve the results in \citep{zhou2019lower}.

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