Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Document Type



In networks consisting of agents communicating with a central coordinator and working together to solve a global optimization problem in a distributed manner, the agents are often required to solve private proximal minimization subproblems. Such a setting often requires a further decomposition method to solve the global distributed problem, resulting in extensive communication overhead. In networks where communication is expensive, it is crucial to reduce the communication overhead of the distributed optimization scheme. Integrating Gaussian processes (GP) as a learning component to the Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers (ADMM) has proven effective in learning each agent's local proximal operator to reduce the required communication exchange. In this work, we propose to combine this learning method with adaptive uniform quantization in a hybrid approach that can achieve further communication reduction when solving a distributed optimization problem with ADMM. This adaptive quantization first considers setting the mid-value and window length according to the mean and covariance given by GP. In a later stage of our study, this adaptation is extended to also consider the variation of the quantization bit resolution. In addition, a convergence analysis of this setting is derived, leading to convergence conditions and error bounds in the cases where convergence cannot be formally proven. Furthermore, we study the impact of the communication decision-making of the coordinator, leading to the proposition of several query strategies using the agent's uncertainty measures given by the regression process. Extensive numerical experiments of a distributed sharing problem with quadratic cost functions for the agents have been conducted throughout this study. The results have demonstrated that the various algorithms proposed have successfully achieved their primary goal of minimizing the overall communication overhead while ensuring that the global solutions maintain satisfactory levels of accuracy. The favorable accuracy observed in the numerical experiments is consistent with the findings of the derived convergence analysis. In instances where convergence proof is lacking, we have shown that the overall ADMM residual remains bounded by a diminishing threshold. This implies that we can anticipate our algorithmic solutions to closely approximate the actual solution, thus validating the reliability of our approaches.



Committee Chair

Shuangqing Wei