A Primal-Dual Algorithm for Group Sparse Regularization with Overlapping Groups

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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Sofia Mosci, Silvia Villa, Alessandro Verri, Lorenzo Rosasco


We deal with the problem of variable selection when variables must be selected group-wise, with possibly overlapping groups defined a priori. In particular we propose a new optimization procedure for solving the regularized algorithm presented in Jacob et al. 09, where the group lasso penalty is generalized to overlapping groups of variables. While in Jacob et al. 09 the proposed implementation requires explicit replication of the variables belonging to more than one group, our iterative procedure is based on a combination of proximal methods in the primal space and constrained Newton method in a reduced dual space, corresponding to the active groups. This procedure provides a scalable alternative with no need for data duplication, and allows to deal with high dimensional problems without pre-processing to reduce the dimensionality of the data. The computational advantages of our scheme with respect to state-of-the-art algorithms using data duplication are shown empirically with numerical simulations.