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Communication-efficient distributed estimation for high-dimensional large-scale linear regression


In the Master-Worker distributed structure, this paper provides a regularized gradient-enhanced loss (GEL) function based on the high-dimensional large-scale linear regression with SCAD and adaptive LASSO penalty. The importance and originality of this paper have two aspects: (1) Computationally, to take full advantage of the computing power of each machine and speed up the convergence, our proposed distributed upgraded estimation method can make all Workers optimize their corresponding GEL functions in parallel, and the results are then aggregated by the Master; (2) In terms of communication, the proposed modified proximal alternating direction method of the multipliers (ADMM) algorithm is comparable to the Centralize method based on the full sample during a few rounds of communication. Under some mild assumptions, we establish the Oracle properties of the SCAD and adaptive LASSO penalized linear regression. The finite sample properties of the newly suggested method are assessed through simulation studies. An application to the HIV drug susceptibility study demonstrates the utility of the proposed method in practice.

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This work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (No. 11901175), the Science and Technology Research Project of Hubei Education Department (No. Q20211007).

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Correspondence to Yingli Pan.

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Appendix: Proof of Theorem

Appendix: Proof of Theorem

In this section, all needed lemmas and proofs are listed.

Lemma 1

Let \(\left\{ S_{n}(u):u\in U\right\} \) be a sequence of random convex functions defined on convex, open subset U of \({\mathbb {R}}^{p}\). Suppose \(S(\cdot )\) is a real-valued function on U for \(S_{n}(u)\longrightarrow S(u)\) in probability for each \(u\in U\). Then for each compact subset K of U, \(\sup \limits _{u\in K}|S_{n}(u)-S(u)|\longrightarrow 0\) in probability and the function \(S(\cdot )\) is necessarily convex on U.

The proof of Lemma 1 can be found in Pollard (1991).

Lemma 2

Let V be a symmetric and positive definite matrix, W be a random variable and \(A_{n}(u)\) be a convex objective function. If

$$\begin{aligned} A_{n}(u)=\frac{1}{2}u^{T}Vu+W^{T}u+o_{p}(1), \end{aligned}$$

then \(\alpha _{n}\), the \(\arg \min \) of \(A_{n}(u)\), satisfies: \(\alpha _{n} \xrightarrow {\ d\ }-V^{-1}W\).

The proof of Lemma 2 can be found in Hjort and Pollard (2011).

Proof of Theorem 1

In this case, note that \({\widetilde{F}}(\beta )\), defined in (2.7), is not a convex function since the non-convexity of SCAD penalty. Based on this fact, we should consider the local minimizer instead of the global \({\widehat{\beta }}^{SCAD}\).

According to Lemma 1 and Fan and Li (2001), for any given \(\delta >0\), there is a large enough constant M such that

$$\begin{aligned} \text {P}\left[ \inf \limits _{\Vert u\Vert _{2}=M}{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}(\beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n})>{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}(\beta _{0}) \right] \ge 1-\delta , \end{aligned}$$

which implies that with probability at least \(1-\delta \) there exists a local minimum in the ball \(\left\{ \beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n}:\Vert u\Vert _{2}\le M\right\} \). This in turn implies that there exists a local minimizer such that \(\Vert {\widehat{\beta }}^{(SCAD)}-\beta _{0}\Vert _{2}=O_{p}(n^{-1/2})\). Performing some simple calculations, we have

$$\begin{aligned}&n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}(\beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n})-{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}(\beta _{0}) \right] \nonumber \\&\quad =n\left[ F_{j}(\beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n})-F_{j}(\beta _{0}) \right] +n\left[ \langle F'_{N}({\overline{\beta }})-F'_{j}({\overline{\beta }}),u/\sqrt{n}\rangle \right] \nonumber \\&\qquad +n\left[ \sum _{k=1}^{p}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|)|\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}| \right] -n\left[ \sum _{k=1}^{p}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|)|\beta _{0k}| \right] \nonumber \\&\quad =\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ \rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji}) \right] +n\left[ \langle F'_{N}({\overline{\beta }})-F'_{j}({\overline{\beta }}),u/\sqrt{n}\rangle \right] \nonumber \\&\qquad +n\left[ \sum _{k=1}^{p}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|)\left( |\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}| \right) \right] \nonumber \\&\quad \ge S_{n}(u)+L_{n}(u), \end{aligned}$$

where \(\epsilon _{ji}=y_{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}\beta _{0}\), and \(q<p\)

$$\begin{aligned} S_{n}(u)&=\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ \rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji}) \right] +n\left[ \langle F'_{N}({\overline{\beta }})-F'_{j}({\overline{\beta }}),u/\sqrt{n}\rangle \right] , \end{aligned}$$
$$\begin{aligned} L_{n}(u)&=n\left[ \sum _{k=1}^{q}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|)\left( |\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}| \right) \right] . \end{aligned}$$

Given any fixed u, then

$$\begin{aligned} S_{n}(u)&=\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ \rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji}) \right] +n\left[ \langle F'_{N}({\overline{\beta }})- F'_{j}({\overline{\beta }}),u/\sqrt{n}\rangle \right] \nonumber \\&=S1+S2. \end{aligned}$$

Due to \(\rho (u)=u^{2}\), then \(\rho '(u)=2u\) and \(\rho '(\epsilon _{ji})=2\epsilon _{ji}\). According to \(E(\epsilon _{ji})=0\) in Condition (A1), we have \(2E(\epsilon _{ji})=0\). Denote \(Q_{ji}(t)=\text {E}[\rho (\epsilon _{ji}-t)-\rho (\epsilon _{ji})]\), by the second-order Taylor expansion of \(Q_{ji}(t)\) at 0, we have

$$\begin{aligned} Q_{ji}(t)=\text {E}\left[ (\epsilon _{ji}-t)^{2}-(\epsilon _{ji})^{2} \right] =t^{2}+o(t^{2}). \end{aligned}$$

According to Condition (A2), we have \(\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{i}x_{i}^{T}/{n}\longrightarrow I\). Further, we have

$$\begin{aligned}&\text {E}\left[ \sum _{i=1}^{n}\rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji}) \right] \nonumber \\&\quad =\sum _{i=1}^{n}Q_{ji}(x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n}) \nonumber \\&\quad =\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left( \frac{x_{ji}^{T}u}{\sqrt{n}} \right) ^{T}\left( \frac{x_{ji}^{T}u}{\sqrt{n}} \right) +o(1) \nonumber \\&\quad =u^{T}\frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{i}x_{i}^{T}}{n}u+o(1), \end{aligned}$$

where u is fixed.

Denote \(R_{ji,n}=\rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji})+2\epsilon _{ji} x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n}\), then by Taylor expansion, there exist \(g_{ji}\) between \(\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n}\) and \(\epsilon _{ji}\) such that

$$\begin{aligned} |R_{ji,n}|=\left| \frac{\rho ''(g_{ji})}{2}\right| u^{T}\frac{x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n}u =u^{T}\frac{x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n}u, \end{aligned}$$

since \(\rho ''(g_{ji})=2\). Then we have

$$\begin{aligned} \sum _{i=1}^{n}\text {E}R_{ji,n}^{2}\le \sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ u^{T}\frac{x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n}u \times \max \limits _{1\le i\le n}\left( \frac{\Vert x_{ji}\Vert }{\sqrt{n}} \right) ^{2}\times \Vert u\Vert ^{2} \right] . \end{aligned}$$

Under the Condition (A2), we have \(\sum _{i=1}^{n} u^{T}\left[ (x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T})/{n} \right] u\longrightarrow u^{T}Iu\). Then, by the fact that \(\max \limits _{1\le i\le n}(\Vert x_{ji}\Vert /{\sqrt{n}})\longrightarrow 0\) and \(\Vert u\Vert _{2}=M\), we have

$$\begin{aligned} \sum _{i=1}^{n}\text {E}R_{ji,n}^{2}\longrightarrow 0. \end{aligned}$$

Based on the above results, we have

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned} S1&=\text {E}\left[ \sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ \rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji}) \right] \right] +\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ \rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji}) \right] \\&\quad -\text {E}\left[ \sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ \rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji}) \right] \right] \\&=u^{T}\frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n}u-\left[ \frac{2}{\sqrt{n}}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\epsilon _{ji}x_{ji} \right] ^{T}u+\sum _{i=1}^{n}(R_{ji,n}-\text {E}R_{ji,n})+o_{p}(1). \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

Combining \(\text {E}\left[ \sum _{i=1}^{n}(R_{ji,n}-\text {E}R_{ji,n}) \right] ^{2}\le \sum _{i=1}^{n}\text {E}R_{ji,n}^{2}\) with (A.11), we can obtain that \(\sum _{i=1}^{n}(R_{ji,n}-\text {E}R_{ji,n})\longrightarrow 0\). Thus, we can get

$$\begin{aligned} S1=u^{T}\frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n}u -\left[ \frac{2}{\sqrt{n}}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\epsilon _{ji}x_{ji} \right] ^{T}u+o_{p}(1). \end{aligned}$$

For the S2, we have

$$\begin{aligned} F'_{N}({\overline{\beta }})-F'_{j}({\overline{\beta }})=\frac{2}{n}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ {\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji} -\frac{1}{m}\sum _{j=1}^{m}{\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji} \right] , \end{aligned}$$

where \({\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}=y_{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}{\overline{\beta }}\). Further, we have

$$\begin{aligned} S2=n\left[ \langle F'_{N}({\overline{\beta }})-F'_{j}({\overline{\beta }}),u/\sqrt{n}\rangle \right] =\frac{2}{\sqrt{n}}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ {\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji} -\frac{1}{m}\sum _{j=1}^{m}{\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji} \right] ^{T}u. \end{aligned}$$

Now we can simplify \(S_{n}(u)\) to

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned} S_{n}(u)&=S1+S2\\&=u^{T}\frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n}u -\left[ \frac{2}{\sqrt{n}}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\epsilon _{ji}x_{ji} \right] ^{T}u+o_{p}(1)\\&\quad + \frac{2}{\sqrt{n}}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ {\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji} -\frac{1}{m}\sum _{j=1}^{m}{\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji} \right] ^{T}u\\&=u^{T}\frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n}u+\left( \frac{1}{\sqrt{n}} \sum _{i=1}^{n}D_{i} \right) ^{T}u+o_{p}(1)\\&=u^{T}\frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n}u+W_{n}^{T}u+o_{p}(1), \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

where \(\xi _{i}=2{\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji}, \eta _{i}=2\sum _{j=1}^{m}{\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji}, \zeta _{i}=2\epsilon _{ji}x_{ji}, D_{i}=\xi _{i}-{\eta _{i}}/{m}-\zeta _{i},i=1,2,\ldots ,n, W_{n}=({1}/{\sqrt{n}})\sum _{i=1}^{n}D_{i}\).

We deal with \(W_{n}\), according to Condition (A1), we can get

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned}&\text {Cov}(\xi _{i},\xi _{i})=ax_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}, \quad \text {Cov}(\eta _{i},\eta _{i})=a\sum _{j=1}^{m}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}, \quad \text {Cov}(\zeta _{i},\zeta _{i})=4\sigma ^{2}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}, \quad \\&\text {Cov}(\xi _{i},\eta _{i})=ax_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}, \quad \text {Cov}(\xi _{i},\zeta _{i})=bx_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}, \quad \text {Cov}(\eta _{i},\zeta _{i})=bx_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}, \quad \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

where \(a=4\text {Var}({\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}), b=4\text {Cov}({\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji},\epsilon _{ji})\). Since \(D_{i}\) is independent and identically distributed zero-mean random vectors, we have

$$\begin{aligned} D_{i}=\left[ I_{p\times p},-\frac{I_{p\times p}}{m},-I_{p\times p} \right] _{p\times 3p} \begin{bmatrix} \xi _{i}\\ \eta _{i}\\ \zeta _{i}\\ \end{bmatrix}_{3p\times 1}&\quad i=1,2,\cdots ,n. \end{aligned}$$

Under Condition (A2), we have

$$\begin{aligned} \text {Var}(W_{n})=\frac{1}{n}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ I_{p\times p},-\frac{I_{p\times p}}{m},-I_{p\times p} \right] \text {Var}\begin{bmatrix} \xi _{i}\\ \eta _{i}\\ \zeta _{i}\\ \end{bmatrix} \begin{bmatrix} I_{p\times p}\\ -\frac{I_{p\times p}}{m}\\ -I_{p\times p}\\ \end{bmatrix} \end{aligned}$$

By routine calculations, we can get

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned} \text {Var}(W_{n})&=\frac{1}{n}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ I_{p\times p},-\frac{I_{p\times p}}{m},-I_{p\times p} \right] \\&\quad \times \text {Var}\begin{bmatrix} &{}ax_{ji}x_{ji}^{T},&{}ax_{ji}x_{ji}^{T},&{}bx_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}\\ &{}ax_{ji}x_{ji}^{T},&{}a\sum _{j=1}^{m}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T},&{}bx_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}\\ &{}bx_{ji}x_{ji}^{T},&{}bx_{ji}x_{ji}^{T},&{}4\sigma ^{2}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}\\ \end{bmatrix} \begin{bmatrix} I_{p\times p}\\ -\frac{I_{p\times p}}{m}\\ -I_{p\times p}\\ \end{bmatrix}\\&=\frac{1}{n}\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ \frac{m-2}{m}ax_{ji}x_{ji}^{T} +\frac{2-2m}{m}bx_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}+4\sigma ^{2}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T} +\frac{a}{m^{2}}\sum _{j=1}^{m}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T} \right] \\&\quad \xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }m^{-1}cI, \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

where \(n\longrightarrow \infty \) and \(c=(m-1)a+(2-2m)b+4m\sigma ^{2}\). By Central limit theorem, we can obtain that

$$\begin{aligned} W_{n}=\frac{1}{\sqrt{n}}\sum _{i=1}^{n}D_{i}\xrightarrow {\ d\ }N(0,m^{-1}cI). \end{aligned}$$

We can know that \(W_{n}^{T}u\) is bounded in probability,i.e.,

$$\begin{aligned} W_{n}^{T}u=O_{p}(\sqrt{m^{-1}cu^{T}Iu}). \end{aligned}$$

By applying Lemma 1 to \(Z_{n}(u)=S_{n}(u)-W_{n}^{T}u\), we can strengthen this point-wise convergence to uniform convergence on compact subset of \({\mathbb {R}}^{p}\), we now analyze \(L_{n}(u)\). For SCAD punishment, \(p'_{\lambda }(u)=\lambda I(|u|\le \lambda )+(\max (0,a\lambda -|u|))/(a-1)I(|u|> \lambda )\). If \(u\ge a\lambda (a=3.7)\), then \(p'_{\lambda }(u)=0\). If \(|u|<\lambda \) and \(\lambda \longrightarrow 0\), we can get that \(p'_{\lambda }(u)=\lambda \longrightarrow 0\).

According to the results above, we can obtain that:

$$\begin{aligned} L_{n}(u)=n\left[ \sum _{k=1}^{q}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|)\left( |\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}| \right) \right] =0. \end{aligned}$$

By Condition (A2) and Eqs. (A.2), (A.15), (A.20) and (A.21), \(n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}(\beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n})-{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}(\beta _{0}) \right] \) is dominated by the term \(u^{T}\left[ \sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}/n \right] u\) when \(\Vert u\Vert _{2}=M\) large enough. We can get Eq. (A.1). This in turn implies that there exists a local minimizer such that \(\Vert {\widehat{\beta }}^{SCAD}-\beta _{0}\Vert _{2}=O_{p}(n^{-1/2})\) as \(n\longrightarrow \infty \). Due to \(N=mn\), if \(\lambda =\lambda (N)\longrightarrow 0\), then \({\widehat{\beta }}^{SCAD}\) converges to \(\beta _{0}\) in probability such that \(\Vert {\widehat{\beta }}^{SCAD}-\beta _{0}\Vert _{2}=O_{p}(N^{-1/2})\) as \(N\longrightarrow \infty \). This completes the proof. \(\square \)

Lemma 3

Suppose that the sample set \(\left\{ x_{i},y_{i}\right\} _{i=1}^{N}\) is generated according to process (3.1). Under Conditions (A1) and (A2), if \(\lambda =\lambda (n)\longrightarrow 0\) and \(\sqrt{n}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \) as \(n\longrightarrow \infty \), then with probability tending to one, for any given \(\beta _{1}\) satisfying \(\Vert \beta _{1}-\beta _{10}\Vert _{2}=O_{p}(n^{-1/2})\) and any constant M, we obtain

$$\begin{aligned} (\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T} =\arg \min \limits _{\Vert \beta _{2}\Vert \le Mn^{-\frac{1}{2}}}{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}). \end{aligned}$$

i.e., for any \(\delta >0\), we have

$$\begin{aligned} \text {P}\left[ \inf \limits _{\Vert \beta _{2}\Vert _{2}\le Mn^{-1/2}}{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}) >{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) \right] \ge 1-\delta . \end{aligned}$$

Proof of Lemma 3

For any \(\Vert \beta _{1}-\beta _{10}\Vert _{2}=O_{p}(n^{-1/2})\), \(\Vert \beta _{2}\Vert _{2}\le Mn^{-1/2}\), based on the proof of Theorem 1, we can obtain that

$$\begin{aligned}&n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) -{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}) \right] \nonumber \\&\quad =n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) -{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{10}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) \right] \nonumber \\&\qquad -n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}) -{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{10}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) \right] \nonumber \\&\quad =S_{n}(\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},0^{T})^{T}) -S_{n}(\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T})\nonumber \\&\qquad - n\sum _{l=q+1}^{p}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{l}|)|\beta _{l}| \nonumber \\&\quad =\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},0^{T})\left[ \frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n} \right] \sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},0^{T})^{T}\nonumber \\&\qquad +W_{n}^{T}\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},0^{T})^{T} \nonumber \\&\qquad -\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})\left[ \frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n} \right] \sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}\nonumber \\&\qquad -W_{n}^{T}\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T} \nonumber \\&\qquad -n\sum _{l=q+1}^{p}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{l}|)|\beta _{l}|+o_{p}(1). \end{aligned}$$

According to \(\Vert \beta _{1}-\beta _{10}\Vert _{2}=O_{p}(n^{-1/2})\), \(\Vert \beta _{2}\Vert _{2}\le Mn^{-1/2}\) and (A.20), we can get that

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned}&\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},0^{T})\left[ \frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n} \right] \sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},0^{T})^{T}=O_{p}(1), \\&\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})\left[ \frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n} \right] \sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}=O_{p}(1), \\ \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$


$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned}&W_{n}^{T}\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},0^{T})^{T} -W_{n}^{T}\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T} =-\sqrt{n}W_{n}^{T} (0^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T} \\&\quad =O_{p}(\sqrt{nm^{-1}c\beta _{2}^{T}I_{22}\beta _{2}})=O_{p}(1), \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

where \(I_{22}\) is the right-bottom \((p-q)\)-by-\((p-q)\) submatrix of I.

Under the conditions \(\lambda =\lambda (n)\longrightarrow 0\) and \(\sqrt{n}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \) as \(n\longrightarrow \infty \) and the fact that \(\varliminf \limits _{\lambda \longrightarrow 0}\varliminf \limits _{\theta \longrightarrow 0^{+}} p'_{\lambda }(\theta )/\lambda =1\), we have

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned} n\sum _{l=q+1}^{p}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{l}|)|\beta _{l}|&=n\lambda \sum _{l=q+1}^{p}\frac{p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{l}|)}{\lambda }|\beta _{l}|\\&\ge n\sum _{l=q+1}^{p}\varliminf \limits _{\lambda \longrightarrow 0}\varliminf \limits _{\theta \longrightarrow 0^{+}}\frac{p'_{\lambda }(\theta )}{\lambda }|\beta _{l}|(1+o(1))\\&=n\lambda \sum _{l=q+1}^{p}|\beta _{l}|(1+o(1)). \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

Since \(\sqrt{n}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \), we can get \(n\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \), which implies that, \(-n\sum _{l=q+1}^{p}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{l}|)|\beta _{l}|\) of (A.22) dominates in magnitude. That is, \({\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) -{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T})<0\) for large n. Then

$$\begin{aligned} \inf \limits _{\Vert \beta _{2}\Vert _{2}\le Mn^{-1/2}}{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}) >{\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}\left( (\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T} \right) \end{aligned}$$

with probability tending to one on any compact subset of \(\Vert \beta _{1}-\beta _{10}\Vert _{2}=O_{p}(n^{-1/2})\) and \(\Vert \beta _{2}\Vert _{2}\le Mn^{-1/2}\). This completes the proof. \(\square \)

Proof of Theorem 2

(I)As discussed in Fan and Li (2001) and by Lemma 3, when \(N=mn\), it is obviously that when \(\lambda =\lambda (N)\longrightarrow 0\) and \(\sqrt{N}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \) as \(N\longrightarrow \infty \), we can obtain that \({\widehat{\beta }}_{2}^{SCAD}=0\). (II)According to Theorem 1, we can demonstrate that there exists a \(\sqrt{N}\)-consistent minimizer \({\widehat{\beta }}_{1}^{SCAD}\) of \({\widetilde{F}}_{SCAD}\left( (\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T} \right) \) as a function of \(\beta _{1}\).

The proof of Theorem 1 implies that \(\sqrt{n}({\widehat{\beta }}_{1}^{SCAD}-\beta _{10})\) minimizes

$$\begin{aligned} S_{n}((\theta ^{T},0^{T})^{T}) +n\sum _{k=1}^{q}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|) \left[ |\beta _{0k}+\theta _{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}| \right] , \end{aligned}$$

with respect to \(\theta \), where \(\theta =(\theta _{1},\cdots ,\theta _{q})^{T}\in {\mathbb {R}}^{q}\). By the Lemma 1 and (A.15), we can obtain that

$$\begin{aligned} S_{n}((\theta ^{T},0^{T})^{T})= & {} (\theta ^{T},0^{T})\left[ \frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}x_{ji}^{T}}{n} \right] (\theta ^{T},0^{T})^{T}+W_{n}^{T}(\theta ^{T},0^{T})^{T}+o_{p}(1) \nonumber \\= & {} \theta ^{T}\left[ \frac{\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}^{1}(x_{ji}^{1})^{T}}{n} \right] \theta +(W_{n}^{1})^{T}\theta +o_{p}(1), \end{aligned}$$

uniformly in any compact subset of \({\mathbb {R}}^{q}\), where \(x_{ji}^{1}\) is the q-dimensonal of \(x_{ji}\), \(\xi _{i}^{1}=2{\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji}^{1}, \eta _{i}^{1}=2\sum _{j=1}^{m}{\overline{\epsilon }}_{ji}x_{ji}^{1}, \zeta _{i}^{1}=2\epsilon _{ji}x_{ji}^{1}, D_{i}^{1}=\xi _{i}^{1}-\eta _{i}^{1}/m-\zeta _{i}^{1},i=1,2,\ldots ,n, W_{n}^{1}=\sum _{i=1}^{n}D_{i}^{1}/\sqrt{n}\). Based on the above evidence and (A.19), we can get

$$\begin{aligned} W_{n}^{1}\xrightarrow {\ d\ }N(0,m^{-1}cI_{11}). \end{aligned}$$

where \(I_{11}\) is the q-by-q submatrix of I.

We define

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned} T1&=n\sum _{k=1}^{q}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|) \left[ |\beta _{0k}+\theta _{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}| \right] \\&=\sum _{k=1}^{q}\sqrt{n}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|) \frac{|\beta _{0k}+\theta _{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}|}{1/\sqrt{n}} \\&=\sum _{k=1}^{q}T_{1k}. \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

Note that

$$\begin{aligned} \frac{|\beta _{0k}+\theta _{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}|}{1/\sqrt{n}}\longrightarrow \text {Sign}(\beta _{0k})\theta _{k}I(\beta _{0k}\ne 0)+|\theta _{k}|I(\beta _{0k}=0). \end{aligned}$$

For the SCAD penalty, \(p'_{\lambda }(\theta )=\lambda I(|\theta |\le \lambda )+(\max (0,a\lambda -|\theta |))/(a-1)I(|\theta |> \lambda )\). If \(\theta \ge a\lambda (a=3.7)\), then \(p'_{\lambda }(\theta )=0\). If \(|\theta |<\lambda \) and \(\lambda \longrightarrow 0\), we can get that \(p'_{\lambda }(\theta )=\lambda \longrightarrow 0\). For \(\beta _{0k}\ne 0\), since \(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|\xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }|\beta _{0k}|>0\), then \(\lambda \longrightarrow 0\) ensures \(T_{1k}\longrightarrow \sqrt{n}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|) \text {Sign}(\beta _{0k})\theta _{k}\xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }0\). For \(\beta _{0k}=0\), \(T_{1k}=0\) if \(\theta _{k}=0\); when \(\theta _{k}\ne 0\), \(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|=O_{p}(n^{-1/2})\) and \(p'_{\lambda }(\theta )=\lambda \) for \(|\theta |<\lambda \), we have if \(\sqrt{n}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \), \(T_{1k}=\sqrt{n}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|)|\theta _{k}|=|\theta _{k}|\sqrt{n}\lambda \) with probability tending to one, thus \(T_{1k}\xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }\infty \). Let us write \(\theta ^{*}=(\theta _{10}^{T},\theta _{20}^{T})^{T}\), then we have

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned}&T_{1}\xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }\left\{ \begin{array}{ll} 0,\qquad \theta _{20}=0 \\ \infty ,\qquad otherwise. \end{array} \right. \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

In Theorem 2, \(\theta ^{*}=(\theta ^{T},0^{T})^{T}\), then we have \(T_{1}\xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }0\). We further can obtain that

$$\begin{aligned} n\sum _{k=1}^{q}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|) \left[ |\beta _{0k}+\theta _{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}| \right] \xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }0. \end{aligned}$$

Based on (A.24) and (A.26) and \(\lim \limits _{n\longrightarrow \infty }\sum _{i=1}^{n}x_{ji}^{1}(x_{ji}^{1})^{T}/n=I_{11}\), where \(I_{11}\) is the q-by-q submatrix of I, we have

$$\begin{aligned}&S_{n}((\theta ^{T},0^{T})^{T}) +n\sum _{k=1}^{q}p'_{\lambda }(|{\overline{\beta }}_{0k}|) \left[ |\beta _{0k}+\theta _{k}/\sqrt{n}|-|\beta _{0k}| \right] \nonumber \\&\quad =\theta ^{T}I_{11}\theta +(W_{n}^{1})^{T}\theta +o_{p}(1). \end{aligned}$$

According (A.25) and Lemma 2, we can obtain that

$$\begin{aligned} \sqrt{n}({\widehat{\beta }}_{1}^{SCAD}-\beta _{10})\xrightarrow {\ d\ }N(0,\frac{c}{4m}I_{11}^{-1}). \end{aligned}$$

Due to \(N=mn\), we can get that

$$\begin{aligned} \sqrt{N}({\widehat{\beta }}_{1}^{SCAD}-\beta _{10})\xrightarrow {\ d\ }N(0,\frac{c}{4}I_{11}^{-1}). \end{aligned}$$

This completes the proof. \(\square \)

Proof of Theorem 3

(I)For any \(\Vert \beta _{1}-\beta _{10}\Vert _{2}=O_{p}(n^{-1/2})\), \(\Vert \beta _{2}\Vert \le Mn^{-1/2}\), according to (A.22), we can get that

$$\begin{aligned}&n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{AL}((\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) -{\widetilde{F}}_{AL}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}) \right] \nonumber \\&\quad =S_{n}(\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},0^{T})^{T}) -S_{n}(\sqrt{n}((\beta _{1}-\beta _{10})^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T})- n\lambda \sum _{k=q+1}^{p}{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{k}|. \end{aligned}$$

Note here the first two terms of (A.30) are exactly the same as in (A.22) and hence can be bounded similarly. However the third term, due to \(n^{(1+r)/2}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \) and \(\sqrt{n}{\widehat{\beta }}_{k}=O_{p}(1)\), satisfies

$$\begin{aligned} -n\lambda \sum _{k=q+1}^{p}{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{k}| =-[n^{(1+r)/2}\lambda ]\sqrt{n}\left[ \sum _{k=q+1}^{p}\left| \left( \sqrt{n}|{\widehat{\beta }}_{k} | \right) ^{-r}\right| |\beta _{k}| \right] \longrightarrow -\infty . \end{aligned}$$

These facts in turn implies that, for \(n\longrightarrow \infty \)

$$\begin{aligned} n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{AL}((\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) -{\widetilde{F}}_{AL}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T}) \right] <0. \end{aligned}$$

Then we have

$$\begin{aligned} \text {P}\left[ \inf \limits _{\Vert \beta _{2}\Vert _{2}=Mn^{-1/2}}{\widetilde{F}}_{AL}((\beta _{1}^{T},\beta _{2}^{T})^{T})>{\widetilde{F}}_{AL}((\beta _{1}^{T},0^{T})^{T}) \right] \ge 1-\delta . \end{aligned}$$

Owing to \(N=mn\) if \(\lambda =\lambda (N),\sqrt{N}\lambda \longrightarrow 0\) and \(N^{(1+r)/2}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \) as \(N\longrightarrow \infty \), we can obtain that \({\widehat{\beta }}_{2}^{AL}=0\).

(II) According to (A.2),

$$\begin{aligned}&n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{AL}(\beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n})-{\widetilde{F}}_{AL}(\beta _{0}) \right] \nonumber \\&\quad =\sum _{i=1}^{n}\left[ \rho (\epsilon _{ji}-x_{ji}^{T}u/\sqrt{n})-\rho (\epsilon _{ji}) \right] +n\left[ \langle F'_{N}({\overline{\beta }})-F'_{j}({\overline{\beta }}),u/\sqrt{n}\rangle \right] \nonumber \\&\qquad +n\lambda \sum _{k=1}^{p}\left[ {\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}|-{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}| \right] . \end{aligned}$$

We analyze the third term. For \(k=1,2,\cdots ,q\), \({\overline{w}}_{k}\xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }|\beta _{0k}|^{-r}\), we have \(\beta _{0k}\ne 0\), by routine calculation, we get

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned}&n\lambda \sum _{k=1}^{q}\left[ {\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}|-{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}| \right] \\&\quad =\sqrt{n}\lambda {\overline{w}}_{k}\sum _{k=1}^{q}\frac{\left[ {\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}|-{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}| \right] }{1/\sqrt{n}} \\&\quad =\sqrt{n}\lambda {\overline{w}}_{k}\sum _{k=1}^{q} u_{k}\text {Sign}(\beta _{0k}), \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

and by \(\sqrt{n}\lambda \longrightarrow 0\), we can obtain that

$$\begin{aligned} n\lambda \sum _{k=1}^{q}\left[ {\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}| -{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}| \right] \xrightarrow {\ \text {P}\ }0. \end{aligned}$$

For \(k=q+1,q+2,\cdots ,p\) and the true coefficient \(\beta _{0k}=0\), we have

$$\begin{aligned} n\lambda \sum _{k=q+1}^{p}\left[ {\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}| -{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}| \right] =\sqrt{n}\lambda \sum _{k=q+1}^{p}[{\overline{w}}_{k}|u_{k}|]. \end{aligned}$$

When \(u_{k}\ne 0\), \(\sqrt{n}\lambda {\overline{w}}_{k}=n^{(1+r)/2}\lambda (\sqrt{n}|{\widehat{\beta }}_{k}|)^{-r}\), \(n^{(1+r)/2}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \) and \(\sqrt{n}|{\widehat{\beta }}_{k}|=O_{p}(1)\), we can get that

$$\begin{aligned} n\lambda \left[ {\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}| -{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}| \right] \longrightarrow \infty . \end{aligned}$$

When \(u_{k}=0\), \(n\lambda \left[ {\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}+u_{k}/\sqrt{n}| -{\overline{w}}_{k}|\beta _{0k}| \right] =0\).

We define \(u^{*}=(u_{10}^{T},u_{20}^{T})^{T}\) and \(W_{n}=((W_{n}^{1})^{T},(W_{n}^{2})^{T})^{T}\). Combining (A.31), (A.32), (A.33), Theorem 1 and Condition (A2), we conclude that for each fixed u,

$$\begin{aligned} \begin{aligned}&n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{AL}(\beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n})-{\widetilde{F}}_{AL}(\beta _{0}) \right] \xrightarrow {\ d\ }V(u)\\&\quad = \left\{ \begin{array}{ll} (u^{1})^{T}I_{11}u^{1}+(W_{n}^{1})^{T}u^{1},\quad if \quad u_{20}=0, \\ \infty ,\qquad otherwise, \end{array} \right. \end{aligned} \end{aligned}$$

where \(u^{1}=(u_{1},u_{2},\cdots ,u_{q})^{T}\). Noted that \(n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{AL}(\beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n})-{\widetilde{F}}_{AL}(\beta _{0}) \right] \) is convex in u and V(u) has a unique minimizer, then we have

$$\begin{aligned} \arg \min \limits _{u\in {\mathbb {R}}^{q}}n\left[ {\widetilde{F}}_{AL}(\beta _{0}+u/\sqrt{n})-{\widetilde{F}}_{AL}(\beta _{0}) \right] =\sqrt{n}({\widehat{\beta }}_{1}^{(AL)}-\beta _{0}) \xrightarrow {\ d\ }\arg \min \limits _{u\in {\mathbb {R}}^{q}}V(u).\nonumber \\ \end{aligned}$$

According to (A.25), (A.34), (A.35) and Lemma 2, we can obtain that

$$\begin{aligned} \sqrt{n}({\widehat{\beta }}_{1}^{AL}-\beta _{10})\xrightarrow {\ d\ }N(0,\frac{c}{4m}I_{11}^{-1}). \end{aligned}$$

Due to \(N=mn\), if \(\sqrt{N}\lambda \longrightarrow 0\) and \(N^{(1+r)/2}\lambda \longrightarrow \infty \) as \(N\longrightarrow \infty \), we can get that

$$\begin{aligned} \sqrt{N}({\widehat{\beta }}_{1}^{AL}-\beta _{10})\xrightarrow {\ d\ }N(0,\frac{c}{4}I_{11}^{-1}). \end{aligned}$$

This completes the proof. \(\square \)

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Liu, Z., Zhao, X. & Pan, Y. Communication-efficient distributed estimation for high-dimensional large-scale linear regression. Metrika (2022).

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  • Distributed optimization
  • SCAD
  • Adaptive LASSO
  • GEL function
  • Modified proximal ADMM algorithm