**SpiderBoost**

There has been extensive research on developing stochastic variance reduced methods to solve large-scale optimization problems. More recently, a novel algorithm of such a type named SPIDER has been developed in \cite{Fang2018}, which was shown to outperform existing algorithms of the same type and meet the lower bound in certain regimes. Though interesting in theory, SPIDER requires $\epsilon$-level stepsize to guarantee the convergence, and consequently runs slow in practice. This paper proposes SpiderBoost as an improved SPIDER scheme, which comes with two major advantages compared to SPIDER. First, it allows much larger stepsize without sacrificing the convergence rate, and hence runs substantially faster than SPIDER in practice. Second, it extends much more easily to proximal algorithms with guaranteed convergence for solving composite optimization problems, which appears challenging for SPIDER due to stringent requirement on per-iteration increment to guarantee its convergence. Both advantages can be attributed to the new convergence analysis we develop for SpiderBoost that allows much more flexibility for choosing algorithm parameters. As further generalization of SpiderBoost, we show that proximal SpiderBoost achieves a stochastic first-order oracle (SFO) complexity of $\mathcal{O}(\min\epsilon^{-1},\epsilon^{-3/2}\})$ for composite optimization, which improves the existing best results by a factor of $\mathcal{O}(\min,\epsilon^{-1/6}\})$. … **Magma**

Magma is an open-source software platform that gives network operators an open, flexible and extendable mobile core network solution. Magma enables better connectivity by:

• Allowing operators to offer cellular service without vendor lock-in with a modern, open source core network

• Enabling operators to manage their networks more efficiently with more automation, less downtime, better predictability, and more agility to add new services and applications

• Enabling federation between existing MNOs and new infrastructure providers for expanding rural infrastructure

• Allowing operators who are constrained with licensed spectrum to add capacity and reach by using Wi-Fi and CBRS … **Distributed Convolutional Dictionary Learning (DiCoDiLe)**

Convolutional dictionary learning (CDL) estimates shift invariant basis adapted to multidimensional data. CDL has proven useful for image denoising or inpainting, as well as for pattern discovery on multivariate signals. As estimated patterns can be positioned anywhere in signals or images, optimization techniques face the difficulty of working in extremely high dimensions with millions of pixels or time samples, contrarily to standard patch-based dictionary learning. To address this optimization problem, this work proposes a distributed and asynchronous algorithm, employing locally greedy coordinate descent and an asynchronous locking mechanism that does not require a central server. This algorithm can be used to distribute the computation on a number of workers which scales linearly with the encoded signal’s size. Experiments confirm the scaling properties which allows us to learn patterns on large scales images from the Hubble Space Telescope. … **Priority Queue Training (PQT)**

We consider the task of program synthesis in the presence of a reward function over the output of programs, where the goal is to find programs with maximal rewards. We employ an iterative optimization scheme, where we train an RNN on a dataset of K best programs from a priority queue of the generated programs so far. Then, we synthesize new programs and add them to the priority queue by sampling from the RNN. We benchmark our algorithm, called priority queue training (or PQT), against genetic algorithm and reinforcement learning baselines on a simple but expressive Turing complete programming language called BF. Our experimental results show that our simple PQT algorithm significantly outperforms the baselines. By adding a program length penalty to the reward function, we are able to synthesize short, human readable programs. …

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Jun 2020

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