# Speed of convergence

In order to compare perfomance of algorithms we need to define a terminology for different types of convergence. Let \(\{x_k\}\) be a sequence in \(\mathbb{R}^n\) that converges to some point \(x^*\)

## Linear convergence

We can define the *linear* convergence in a two different forms:

for all sufficiently large \(k\). Here \(q \in (0, 1)\) and \(0 < C < \infty\). This means that the distance to the solution \(x^*\) decreases at each iteration by at least a constant factor bounded away from \(1\). Note, that sometimes this type of convergence is also called *exponential* or *geometric*.

## Superlinear convergence

The convergence is said to be *superlinear* if:

where \(q \in (0, 1)\) or \(0 < C_k < \infty\), \(C_k \to 0\). Note, that superlinear convergence is also linear convergence (one can even say, that it is linear convergence with \(q=0\)).

## Sublinear convergence

\[\| x_{k+1} - x^* \|_2 \leq C k^{q},\]where \(q < 0\) and \(0 < C < \infty\). Note, that sublinear convergence means, that the sequence is converging slower, than any geometric progression.

## Quadratic convergence

\[\| x_{k+1} - x^* \|_2 \leq C q^{2^k} \qquad \text{or} \qquad \| x_{k+1} - x^* \|_2 \leq C\| x_k - x^* \|^2_2,\]where \(q \in (0, 1)\) and \(0 < C < \infty\).

Quasi-Newton methods for unconstrained optimization typically converge superlinearly, whereas Newton’s method converges quadratically under appropriate assumptions. In contrast, steepest descent algorithms converge only at a linear rate, and when the problem is ill-conditioned the convergence constant \(q\) is close to \(1\).

# How to determine convergence type

## Root test

Let \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) be a sequence of non-negative numbers, converging to zero, and let

\[q = \lim_{k \to \infty} \sup_k \; r_k ^{1/k}\]- If \(0 \leq q \lt 1\), then \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) has linear convergence with constant \(q\).
- In particular, if \(q = 0\), then \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) has superlinear convergence.
- If \(q = 1\), then \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) has sublinear convergence.
- The case \(q \gt 1\) is impossible.

## Ratio test

Let \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) be a sequence of strictly positive numbers converging to zero. Let

\[q = \lim_{k \to \infty} \dfrac{r_{k+1}}{r_k}\]- If there exists \(q\) and \(0 \leq q \lt 1\), then \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) has linear convergence with constant \(q\).
- In particular, if \(q = 0\), then \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) has superlinear convergence.
- If \(q\) does not exist, but \(q = \lim\limits_{k \to \infty} \sup_k \dfrac{r_{k+1}}{r_k} \lt 1\), then \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) has linear convergence with a constant not exceeding \(q\).
- If \(\lim\limits_{k \to \infty} \inf_k \dfrac{r_{k+1}}{r_k} =1\), then \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\) has sublinear convergence.
- The case \(\lim\limits_{k \to \infty} \inf_k \dfrac{r_{k+1}}{r_k} \gt 1\) is impossible.
- In all other cases (i.e., when \(\lim\limits_{k \to \infty} \inf_k \dfrac{r_{k+1}}{r_k} \lt 1 \leq \lim\limits_{k \to \infty} \sup_k \dfrac{r_{k+1}}{r_k}\)) we cannot claim anything concrete about the convergence rate \(\{r_k\}_{k=m}^\infty\).

# References

- Code for convergence plots -
- CMC seminars (ru)
- Numerical Optimization by J.Nocedal and S.J.Wright