Approximating Semidefinite Programs in Sublinear Time

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 24 (NIPS 2011)

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Dan Garber, Elad Hazan


In recent years semidefinite optimization has become a tool of major importance in various optimization and machine learning problems. In many of these problems the amount of data in practice is so large that there is a constant need for faster algorithms. In this work we present the first sublinear time approximation algorithm for semidefinite programs which we believe may be useful for such problems in which the size of data may cause even linear time algorithms to have prohibitive running times in practice. We present the algorithm and its analysis alongside with some theoretical lower bounds and an improved algorithm for the special problem of supervised learning of a distance metric.