A Faster Decentralized Algorithm for Nonconvex Minimax Problems

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 (NeurIPS 2021)

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Wenhan Xian, Feihu Huang, Yanfu Zhang, Heng Huang


In this paper, we study the nonconvex-strongly-concave minimax optimization problem on decentralized setting. The minimax problems are attracting increasing attentions because of their popular practical applications such as policy evaluation and adversarial training. As training data become larger, distributed training has been broadly adopted in machine learning tasks. Recent research works show that the decentralized distributed data-parallel training techniques are specially promising, because they can achieve the efficient communications and avoid the bottleneck problem on the central node or the latency of low bandwidth network. However, the decentralized minimax problems were seldom studied in literature and the existing methods suffer from very high gradient complexity. To address this challenge, we propose a new faster decentralized algorithm, named as DM-HSGD, for nonconvex minimax problems by using the variance reduced technique of hybrid stochastic gradient descent. We prove that our DM-HSGD algorithm achieves stochastic first-order oracle (SFO) complexity of $O(\kappa^3 \epsilon^{-3})$ for decentralized stochastic nonconvex-strongly-concave problem to search an $\epsilon$-stationary point, which improves the exiting best theoretical results. Moreover, we also prove that our algorithm achieves linear speedup with respect to the number of workers. Our experiments on decentralized settings show the superior performance of our new algorithm.