Constrained Stochastic Nonconvex Optimization with State-dependent Markov Data

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

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Abhishek Roy, Krishnakumar Balasubramanian, Saeed Ghadimi


We study stochastic optimization algorithms for constrained nonconvex stochastic optimization problems with Markovian data. In particular, we focus on the case when the transition kernel of the Markov chain is state-dependent. Such stochastic optimization problems arise in various machine learning problems including strategic classification and reinforcement learning. For this problem, we study both projection-based and projection-free algorithms. In both cases, we establish that the number of calls to the stochastic first-order oracle to obtain an appropriately defined $\epsilon$-stationary point is of the order $\mathcal{O}(1/\epsilon^{2.5})$. In the projection-free setting we additionally establish that the number of calls to the linear minimization oracle is of order $\mathcal{O}(1/\epsilon^{5.5})$. We also empirically demonstrate the performance of our algorithm on the problem of strategic classification with neural networks.