Behavior of Limited Memory BFGS when Applied to Nonsmooth Functions and their Nesterov Smoothings

The motivation to study the behavior of limited-memory BFGS (L-BFGS) on nonsmooth optimization problems is based on two empirical observations: the widespread success of L-BFGS in solving large-scale smooth optimization problems, and the remarkable effectiveness of the full BFGS method in solving small to medium-sized nonsmooth optimization problems, based on using a gradient, not a … Read more

Analysis of Limited-Memory BFGS on a Class of Nonsmooth Convex Functions

The limited memory BFGS (L-BFGS) method is widely used for large-scale unconstrained optimization, but its behavior on nonsmooth problems has received little attention. L-BFGS can be used with or without “scaling”; the use of scaling is normally recommended. A simple special case, when just one BFGS update is stored and used at every iteration, is … Read more

Analysis of the Gradient Method with an Armijo-Wolfe Line Search on a Class of Nonsmooth Convex Functions

It has long been known that the gradient (steepest descent) method may fail on nonsmooth problems, but the examples that have appeared in the literature are either devised specifically to defeat a gradient or subgradient method with an exact line search or are unstable with respect to perturbation of the initial point. We give an … Read more