We present a primal-dual algorithmic framework to obtain approximate solutions to a prototypical constrained convex optimization problem, and rigorously characterize how common structural assumptions affect the numerical efficiency. Our main analysis technique provides a fresh perspective on Nesterov's excessive gap technique in a structured fashion and unifies it with smoothing and primal-dual methods. For instance, through the choices of a dual smoothing strategy and a center point, our framework subsumes decomposition algorithms, augmented Lagrangian as well as the alternating direction method-of-multipliers methods as its special cases, and provides optimal convergence rates on the primal objective residual as well as the primal feasibility gap of the iterates for all.
Tech. Report, EPFL-REPORT-199844