EXTRA: an Exact First-Order Algorithm for Decentralized Consensus Optimization

Wei Shi, Qing Ling, Gang Wu, and Wotao Yin

Published in SIAM Journal on Optimization


Recently, there have been growing interests in solving consensus optimization problems in a multi-agent network. In this paper, we develop a decentralized algorithm for the consensus optimization problem

 mathop{mathrm{minimize}}_{xinmathbb{R}^p}~bar{f}(x)=frac{1}{n}sum_{i=1}^n f_i(x),

which is defined over a connected network of n agents, where each f_i is held privately by agent i and encodes the agent's data and objective. All the agents shall collaboratively find the minimizer while each agent can only communicate with its neighbors. Such a computation scheme avoids a data fusion center or long-distance communication and offers better load balance to the network.

This paper proposes a novel decentralized exact first-order algorithm (abbreviated as EXTRA) to solve the consensus optimization problem. EXTRA can use a fixed, large step size and has synchronized iterations, and the local variable of every agent i converges {uniformly and consensually} to an exact minimizer of bar{f}. In contrast, the well-known decentralized gradient descent (DGD) method must use diminishing step sizes in order to converge to an exact minimizer. EXTRA and DGD have a similar per-iteration complexity. EXTRA uses the gradients of the last two iterates instead of the last one only by DGD.

EXTRA has the best known convergence rates among the existing first-order decentralized algorithms for decentralized consensus optimization with convex differentiable objectives. Specifically, if f_i's are convex and have Lipschitz continuous gradients, EXTRA has an ergodic convergence rate Oleft(frac{1}{k}right). If bar{f} is also (restricted) strongly convex, the rate improves to linear at O(C^{-k}) for some constant C>1.


W. Shi, Q. Ling, G. Wu, and W. Yin, EXTRA: an Exact First-Order Algorithm for Decentralized Consensus Optimization, SIAM Journal on Optimization 25(2), 944-966, 2015. Also as UCLA CAM Report 14-34, 2014. DOI: 10.1137/14096668X.

Related paper

K. Yuan, Q. Ling, and W. Yin, On the Convergence of Decentralized Gradient Descent, UCLA CAM Report 13-61, 2013.

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