Dominant generalized eigenspace computation, concerned with how to find one of the top-k generalized eigenspaces of a pair of real symmetric matrices, is one of the fundamental problems in scientific computing, data analysis, and statistics. In this work, we propose a practical Riemannian algorithm based on the first-order optimization on generalized Stiefel manifolds while efficiently leveraging second-order information. Particularly, we use inexact Riemannian gradients which result from running a fast least-squares solver to approximate matrix multiplications for avoiding costly matrix inversions involved therein. We also conduct a theoretical analysis that is different than existing ones, achieving a unified linear convergence rate regardless of the conventional generalized eigenvalue gap which is the key parameter to the currently dichotomized analysis: gap-dependent or gap-free. The resulting linear rate, albeit not optimal, remains valid in full generality. Despite the simplicity, empirically, our algorithm as a block generalized eigensolver remarkably outperforms existing solvers.
Authors: Zhiqiang Xu, Ping Li (Baidu Research)