## Machine Learning Note - Convex Optimization

11 November 2019

### Introduction

I’ve been taking an online Machine Learning class recently. This post is my note on convex optimization part.

### Optimization

#### 1. Overview

• AI problem = Model + Optimization (Similar to Program = Data Structure + Algorithm)
• Models: DL, LR, SVM, XGBoost, NN, RL

#### 2. Standard Form

Any optimization problem can be represented as the following standard form:

Examples:

• Linear Regression:
• Logistic Regression:
• Support Vector Machine:
• Collaborative Filtering:
• K-Means

#### 3. Categories

1. Convex vs Non-Convex
2. Continuous vs Discrete
3. Constrained vs Unconstrained
4. Smooth vs Non-smooth

Solving a non-convex optimization problem:

1. For some simple function, we can use brute-force search to validate all feasible solutions.
2. Relax some constrains and convert the problem to a convex function.
3. Directly solving the problem using a optimization algorithm, try to find a better local optimal.  ### Convex Optimization

#### 1. Convex Set:

$\forall x,y \in C, \forall a \in [0, 1].$ $C$ is a convex set if $ax+(1-a)y\in C$ . Convex Set VS Non-Convex Set: Examples of Convex Set:

• $R^n$
• Positive Integers $R^n_+$
• Norm $|x| \le 1$
• Affine set: All solution of a linear equation set $Ax = b$.
• Halfspace: All solution of a inequality $Ax \le b$.

Theroem: Intersection of convex sets is convex.

#### 2. Convex Function

##### 2.1 Definition

Definition. Let $X$ be a convex set in a real vector space and let $f:X\to R$ be a function.

• $f$ is called convex if: $\forall x_1, x_2 \in X, \forall t \in [0, 1]: f(tx_1+(1-t)x_2\le tf(x_1)+(1-t)f(x_2)$
• $f$ is called strickly convex if: $\forall x_1\neq x_2 \in X, \forall t \in [0, 1]: f(tx_1+(1-t)x_2\le tf(x_1)+(1-t)f(x_2)$

Property: Summation of convex functions is convex function.

##### 2.2 First Order Convexity Condition

Theorem. Suppose $f: R^n \to R$ is differentiable. Then, $f$ is convex $\iff f(y)\ge f(x)+\nabla(x)^T(y-x), \forall x, y \in dom(f).$

##### 2.3 Second Order Convexity Condtion

Theorem. Suppose $f: R^n \to R$ is twice differentiable. Then $f$ is convex $\iff \nabla^2f(x)\succeq0, \forall x \in dom(f).$

Note that we use $\succeq$ (succeeds or equals) here instead of $\ge$ (greater than or equals). $A\succeq0$ means that $A$ is a positive semi-definite (PSD) matrix. (i.e.; all of the eigenvalues of $A$ are positive.

#### 3. Proof of Convexity

Example 1. Prove that Linear Function: $f(x)=b^Tx + c$ is convex.

Proof: By definition, $\forall x_1, x_2 \in dom(f)$, we have:

The inequality holds, hence the linear function $f(x)=bTx+c$ is convex.

Example 2. Prove that qualdratic function: $f(x)=\frac{1}{2}x^TAx + b^Tx + c, \forall A\succeq 0 \$ is convex.

Proof: We will use second order convexity condition.

Let $\nabla$ be the partial derivative operator $\frac{\partial}{\partial x}$

Since $A\succeq 0$, $\nabla^2f$ is a positive semi-definite matrix. Thus, the qualdratic function is convex.

Example 3. Prove that p-norm is convex. $\|x\|_p=(\sum_{i=1}^{n}\|x_i\|^p)^{1/p}$.

Proof: Let $f(x)=\|x\|_p$, using Minkowski inequality (triangle inequality), we have:

So by definition, p-norm is convex.

Example 4. Prove that logistic regression loss is convex. $L(w)=-\sum_{n=1}^{N}(y_nlog(p_n) + (1-y_n)log(1-p_n)$

where: $p_n = \frac{1}{1+e^{-W^Tx_n}}$

Proof: We will the second order convexity condition to prove this.

Let $\nabla$ denotes partial derivative operator $\frac{\partial}{\partial w}$

Now we can calculate the first order derivative:

Now we calculate the second order derivative:

Then, we need to prove that matrix $p_n(1-p_n)x_n{x_n}^T$ is PSD:

Since $p_n$ is a sigmoid function, we have $p_n(1-p_n) \geq 0$, which leads to $v^THv \geq 0$.

Thus, H is PSD and we proved that the logistic regression loss is a convex function.

Note: To prove a matrix $H$ is PSD, we need to prove that $\forall v\in R, v\neq0, v^THv \ge0.$