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New Projected Quasi-Newton Methods with Applications


Sra,  S
Department Empirical Inference, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Sra, S. (2008). New Projected Quasi-Newton Methods with Applications. Talk presented at Microsoft Research Tech-talk.

Box-constrained convex optimization problems are central to several applications in a variety of fields such as statistics, psychometrics, signal processing, medical imaging, and machine learning. Two fundamental examples are the non-negative least squares (NNLS) problem and the non-negative Kullback-Leibler (NNKL) divergence minimization problem. The non-negativity constraints are usually based on an underlying physical restriction, for e.g., when dealing with applications in astronomy, tomography, statistical estimation, or image restoration, the underlying parameters represent physical quantities such as concentration, weight, intensity, or frequency counts and are therefore only interpretable with non-negative values. Several modern optimization methods can be inefficient for simple problems such as NNLS and NNKL as they are really designed to handle far more general and complex problems. In this work we develop two simple quasi-Newton methods for solving box-constrained (differentiable) convex optimization problems that utilize the well-known BFGS and limited memory BFGS updates. We position our method between projected gradient (Rosen, 1960) and projected Newton (Bertsekas, 1982) methods, and prove its convergence under a simple Armijo step-size rule. We illustrate our method by showing applications to: Image deblurring, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) image reconstruction, and Non-negative Matrix Approximation (NMA). On medium sized data we observe performance competitive to established procedures, while for larger data the results are even better.