Bounds for the Tracking Error and Dynamic Regret of Inexact Online Optimization Methods: A General Analysis via Sequential SDPs


In this paper, we develop a unified framework for analyzing the tracking error and dynamic regret of inexact online optimization methods under a variety of settings. Specifically, we leverage the quadratic constraint approach from control theory to formulate sequential semidefinite programs (SDPs) whose feasible points naturally correspond to tracking error bounds of various inexact online optimization methods including the inexact online gradient descent (OGD) method, the online gradient descent-ascent method, the online stochastic gradient method, and the inexact proximal online gradient method. We provide exact analytical solutions for our proposed sequential SDPs, and obtain fine-grained tracking error bounds for the online algorithms studied in this paper. We also provide a simple routine to convert the obtained tracking error bounds into dynamic regret bounds. The main novelty of our analysis is that we derive exact analytical solutions for our proposed sequential SDPs under various inexact oracle assumptions in a unified manner.

Under review