Information Complexity of Mixed-integer Convex Optimization

We investigate the information complexity of mixed-integer convex optimization under different types of oracles. We establish new lower bounds for the standard first-order oracle, improving upon the previous best known lower bound. This leaves only a lower order linear term (in the dimension) as the gap between the lower and upper bounds. This is derived as a corollary of a more fundamental "transfer" result that shows how lower bounds on information complexity of continuous convex optimization under different oracles can be transferred to the mixed-integer setting in a black-box manner.

Further, we (to the best of our knowledge) initiate the study of, and obtain the first set of results on, information complexity under oracles that only reveal partial first-order information, e.g., where one can only make a binary query over the function value or subgradient at a given point. We give algorithms for (mixed-integer) convex optimization that work under these less informative oracles. We also give lower bounds showing that, for some of these oracles, every algorithm requires more iterations to achieve a target error compared to when complete first-order information is available. That is, these oracles are provably less informative than full first-order oracles for the purpose of optimization.



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