Accelerated Stochastic Gradient-free and Projection-free Methods

Feihu Huang, Lue Tao, Songcan Chen

In the paper, we propose a class of accelerated stochastic gradient-free and projection-free (a.k.a., zeroth-order Frank-Wolfe) methods to solve the constrained stochastic and finite-sum nonconvex optimization. Specifically, we propose an accelerated stochastic zeroth-order Frank-Wolfe (Acc-SZOFW) method based on the variance reduced technique of SPIDER/SpiderBoost and a novel momentum accelerated technique. Moreover, under some mild conditions, we prove that the Acc-SZOFW has the function query complexity of $O(d\sqrt{n}\epsilon^{-2})$ for finding an $\epsilon$-stationary point in the finite-sum problem, which improves the exiting best result by a factor of $O(\sqrt{n}\epsilon^{-2})$, and has the function query complexity of $O(d\epsilon^{-3})$ in the stochastic problem, which improves the exiting best result by a factor of $O(\epsilon^{-1})$. To relax the large batches required in the Acc-SZOFW, we further propose a novel accelerated stochastic zeroth-order Frank-Wolfe (Acc-SZOFW*) based on a new variance reduced technique of STORM, which still reaches the function query complexity of $O(d\epsilon^{-3})$ in the stochastic problem without relying on any large batches. In particular, we present an accelerated framework of the Frank-Wolfe methods based on the proposed momentum accelerated technique. The extensive experimental results on black-box adversarial attack and robust black-box classification demonstrate the efficiency of our algorithms.