A convergent 3-block semiproximal alternating direction method of multipliers for conic programming with 4-type constraints

Defeng Sun, K.-C. Toh, L. Yang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)


Copyright © by SIAM. © 2015 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.In this paper, we consider conic programming problems whose constraints consist of linear equalities, linear inequalities, a nonpolyhedral cone, and a polyhedral cone. A convenient way for solving this class of problems is to apply the directly extended alternating direction method of multipliers (ADMM) to its dual problem, which has been observed to perform well in numerical computations but may diverge in theory. Ideally, one should find a convergent variant which is at least as efficient as the directly extended ADMM in practice. We achieve this goal by designing a convergent semiproximal ADMM (called sPADMM3c for convenience) for convex programming problems having three separable blocks in the objective function with the third part being linear. At each iteration, the proposed sPADMM3c takes one special block coordinate descent (BCD) cycle with the order 1 ? 3 ? 2 ? 3, instead of the usual 1 ? 2 ? 3 Gauss-Seidel BCD cycle used in the nonconvergent directly extended 3-block ADMM, for updating the variable blocks. Our numerical experiments demonstrate that the convergent method is at least 20% faster than the directly extended ADMM with unit step-length for the vast majority of about 550 large-scale doubly nonnegative semidefinite programming problems with linear equality and/or inequality constraints. This confirms that at least for conic convex programming, one can design a convergent and efficient ADMM with a special BCD cycle of updating the variable blocks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)882-915
Number of pages34
JournalSIAM Journal on Optimization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Conic programming
  • Convergence
  • Multiblock ADMM
  • SDP
  • Semiproximal ADMM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Theoretical Computer Science


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