D-ADMM: A communication-efficient distributed algorithm for separable optimization

João F. C. Mota, João M. F. Xavier, Pedro M. Q. Aguiar, Markus Püschel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

304 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a distributed algorithm, named Distributed Alternating Direction Method of Multipliers (D-ADMM), for solving separable optimization problems in networks of interconnected nodes or agents. In a separable optimization problem there is a private cost function and a private constraint set at each node. The goal is to minimize the sum of all the cost functions, constraining the solution to be in the intersection of all the constraint sets. D-ADMM is proven to converge when the network is bipartite or when all the functions are strongly convex, although in practice, convergence is observed even when these conditions are not met. We use D-ADMM to solve the following problems from signal processing and control: average consensus, compressed sensing, and support vector machines. Our simulations show that D-ADMMrequires less communications than state-of-The-Art algorithms to achieve a given accuracy level. Algorithms with low communication requirements are important, for example, in sensor networks, where sensors are typically battery-operated and communicating is the most energy consuming operation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6484993
Pages (from-to)2718-2723
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Signal Processing
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2013


  • Alternating direction method of multipliers
  • Distributed algorithms
  • Sensor networks.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Signal Processing


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