Oracle Complexity of Single-Loop Switching Subgradient Methods for Non-Smooth Weakly Convex Functional Constrained Optimization

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

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Yankun Huang, Qihang Lin


We consider a non-convex constrained optimization problem, where the objective function is weakly convex and the constraint function is either convex or weakly convex. To solve this problem, we consider the classical switching subgradient method, which is an intuitive and easily implementable first-order method whose oracle complexity was only known for convex problems. This paper provides the first analysis on the oracle complexity of the switching subgradient method for finding a nearly stationary point of non-convex problems. Our results are derived separately for convex and weakly convex constraints. Compared to existing approaches, especially the double-loop methods, the switching gradient method can be applied to non-smooth problems and achieves the same complexity using only a single loop, which saves the effort on tuning the number of inner iterations.