Divide and Conquer Kernel Ridge Regression: A Distributed Algorithm with Minimax Optimal Rates

by   Yuchen Zhang, et al.
berkeley college

We establish optimal convergence rates for a decomposition-based scalable approach to kernel ridge regression. The method is simple to describe: it randomly partitions a dataset of size N into m subsets of equal size, computes an independent kernel ridge regression estimator for each subset, then averages the local solutions into a global predictor. This partitioning leads to a substantial reduction in computation time versus the standard approach of performing kernel ridge regression on all N samples. Our two main theorems establish that despite the computational speed-up, statistical optimality is retained: as long as m is not too large, the partition-based estimator achieves the statistical minimax rate over all estimators using the set of N samples. As concrete examples, our theory guarantees that the number of processors m may grow nearly linearly for finite-rank kernels and Gaussian kernels and polynomially in N for Sobolev spaces, which in turn allows for substantial reductions in computational cost. We conclude with experiments on both simulated data and a music-prediction task that complement our theoretical results, exhibiting the computational and statistical benefits of our approach.


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