Distributed optimization over time-varying directed graphs

Angelia Nedić, Alex Olshevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

621 Scopus citations


We consider distributed optimization by a collection of nodes, each having access to its own convex function, whose collective goal is to minimize the sum of the functions. The communications between nodes are described by a time-varying sequence of directed graphs, which is uniformly strongly connected. For such communications, assuming that every node knows its out-degree, we develop a broadcast-based algorithm, termed the subgradient-push, which steers every node to an optimal value under a standard assumption of subgradient boundedness. The subgradient-push requires no knowledge of either the number of agents or the graph sequence to implement. Our analysis shows that the subgradient-push algorithm converges at a rate of O(ln t/√t). The proportionality constant in the convergence rate depends on the initial values at the nodes, the subgradient norms and, more interestingly, on both the speed of the network information diffusion and the imbalances of influence among the nodes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6930814
Pages (from-to)601-615
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Transactions on Automatic Control
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Time-varying
  • UAVs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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