The structure of conservative gradient fields

The classical Clarke subdifferential alone is inadequate for understanding automatic differentiation in nonsmooth contexts. Instead, we can sometimes rely on enlarged generalized gradients called “conservative fields”, defined through the natural path-wise chain rule: one application is the convergence analysis of gradient-based deep learning algorithms. In the semi-algebraic case, we show that all conservative fields are … Read more

Tangencies and Polynomial Optimization

Given a polynomial function $f \colon \mathbb{R}^n \rightarrow \mathbb{R}$ and a unbounded basic closed semi-algebraic set $S \subset \mathbb{R}^n,$ in this paper we show that the conditions listed below are characterized exactly in terms of the so-called {\em tangency variety} of $f$ on $S$: (i) The $f$ is bounded from below on $S;$ (ii) The … Read more

Local minimizers of semi-algebraic functions

Consider a semi-algebraic function $f\colon\mathbb{R}^n \to {\mathbb{R}},$ which is continuous around a point $\bar{x} \in \mathbb{R}^n.$ Using the so–called {\em tangency variety} of $f$ at $\bar{x},$ we first provide necessary and sufficient conditions for $\bar{x}$ to be a local minimizer of $f,$ and then in the case where $\bar{x}$ is an isolated local minimizer of … Read more

On the Existence of Pareto Solutions for Polynomial Vector Optimization Problems

We are interested in the existence of Pareto solutions to the vector optimization problem $$\text{\rm Min}_{\,\mathbb{R}^m_+} \{f(x) \,|\, x\in \mathbb{R}^n\},$$ where $f\colon\mathbb{R}^n\to \mathbb{R}^m$ is a polynomial map. By using the {\em tangency variety} of $f$ we first construct a semi-algebraic set of dimension at most $m – 1$ containing the set of Pareto values of … Read more

Quadratic growth and critical point stability of semi-algebraic functions

We show that quadratic growth of a semi-algebraic function is equivalent to strong metric subregularity of the subdifferential — a kind of stability of generalized critical points. In contrast, this equivalence can easily fail outside of the semi-algebraic setting. Citation 13 pages, September, 2013 Article Download View Quadratic growth and critical point stability of semi-algebraic … Read more

Trajectories of Descent

Steepest descent drives both theory and practice of nonsmooth optimization. We study slight relaxations of two influential notions of steepest descent curves — curves of maximal slope and solutions to evolution equations. In particular, we provide a simple proof showing that lower-semicontinuous functions that are locally Lipschitz continuous on their domains — functions playing a … Read more

The dimension of semialgebraic subdifferential graphs.

Examples exist of extended-real-valued closed functions on $\R^n$ whose subdifferentials (in the standard, limiting sense) have large graphs. By contrast, if such a function is semi-algebraic, then its subdifferential graph must have everywhere constant local dimension $n$. This result is related to a celebrated theorem of Minty, and surprisingly may fail for the Clarke subdifferential. … Read more

Semi-algebraic functions have small subdifferentials

We prove that the subdifferential of any semi-algebraic extended-real-valued function on $\R^n$ has $n$-dimensional graph. We discuss consequences for generic semi-algebraic optimization problems. Citation Cornell University, School of Operations Research and Information Engineering, 206 Rhodes Hall Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853. April 2010. Article Download View Semi-algebraic functions have small subdifferentials

Lipschitz behavior of the robust regularization

To minimize or upper-bound the value of a function “robustly”, we might instead minimize or upper-bound the “epsilon-robust regularization”, defined as the map from a point to the maximum value of the function within an epsilon-radius. This regularization may be easy to compute: convex quadratics lead to semidefinite-representable regularizations, for example, and the spectral radius … Read more

Robust regularization

Given a real function on a Euclidean space, we consider its “robust regularization”: the value of this new function at any given point is the maximum value of the original function in a fixed neighbourhood of the point in question. This construction allows us to impose constraints in an optimization problem *robustly*, safeguarding a constraint … Read more