Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)
We consider regularized stochastic learning and online optimization problems, where the objective function is the sum of two convex terms: one is the loss function of the learning task, and the other is a simple regularization term such as L1-norm for sparsity. We develop a new online algorithm, the regularized dual averaging method, that can explicitly exploit the regularization structure in an online setting. In particular, at each iteration, the learning variables are adjusted by solving a simple optimization problem that involves the running average of all past subgradients of the loss functions and the whole regularization term, not just its subgradient. This method achieves the optimal convergence rate and often enjoys a low complexity per iteration similar as the standard stochastic gradient method. Computational experiments are presented for the special case of sparse online learning using L1-regularization.