February 17, 2020
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To compute Lasso regression, $$\frac{1}{2}\|\mathbf{y}-\mathbf{X}\mathbf{\beta}\|_{\ell_2}^2+\lambda\|\mathbf{\beta}\|_{\ell_1}$$define the soft-thresholding function$$S(z,\gamma)=\text{sign}(z)\cdot(|z|-\gamma)_+=\begin{cases}z-\gamma&\text{ if }\gamma>|z|\text{ and }z<0\\z+\gamma&\text{ if }\gamma<|z|\text{ and }z<0 \\0&\text{ if }\gamma\geq|z|\end{cases}[/latex]The R function would be

To solve our optimization problem, set[latex display="true"]\mathbf{r}_j=\mathbf{y} - \left(\beta_0\mathbf{1}+\sum_{k\neq j}\beta_k\mathbf{x}_k\right)=\mathbf{y}-\widehat{\mathbf{y}}^{(j)}$$

so that the optimization problem can be written, equivalently
$$\min\left\lbrace\frac{1}{2n}\sum_{j=1}^p [\mathbf{r}_j-\beta_j\mathbf{x}_j]^2+\lambda |\beta_j|\right\rbrace$$
hence$$\min\left\lbrace\frac{1}{2n}\sum_{j=1}^p \beta_j^2\|\mathbf{x}_j\|-2\beta_j\mathbf{r}_j^T\mathbf{x}_j+\lambda |\beta_j|\right\rbrace$$
and one gets
$$\beta_{j,\lambda} = \frac{1}{\|\mathbf{x}_j\|^2}S(\mathbf{r}_j^T\mathbf{x}_j,n\lambda)$$
or, if we develop
$$\beta_{j,\lambda} = \frac{1}{\sum_i x_{ij}^2}S\left(\sum_ix_{i,j}[y_i-\widehat{y}_i^{(j)}],n\lambda\right)$$
Again, if there are weights $\mathbf{\omega}=(\omega_i)$, the coordinate-wise update becomes
$$\beta_{j,\lambda,{\color{red}{\omega}}} = \frac{1}{\sum_i {\color{red}{\omega_i}}x_{ij}^2}S\left(\sum_i{\color{red}{\omega_i}}x_{i,j}[y_i-\widehat{y}_i^{(j)}],n\lambda\right)$$
The code to compute this componentwise descent is

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25  lasso_coord_desc = function(X,y,beta,lambda,tol=1e-6,maxiter=1000){ beta = as.matrix(beta) X = as.matrix(X) omega = rep(1/length(y),length(y)) obj = numeric(length=(maxiter+1)) betalist = list(length(maxiter+1)) betalist[[1]] = beta beta0list = numeric(length(maxiter+1)) beta0 = sum(y-X%*%beta)/(length(y)) beta0list[1] = beta0 for (j in 1:maxiter){ for (k in 1:length(beta)){ r = y - X[,-k]%*%beta[-k] - beta0*rep(1,length(y)) beta[k] = (1/sum(omega*X[,k]^2))* soft_thresholding(t(omega*r)%*%X[,k],length(y)*lambda) } beta0 = sum(y-X%*%beta)/(length(y)) beta0list[j+1] = beta0 betalist[[j+1]] = beta obj[j] = (1/2)*(1/length(y))*norm(omega*(y - X%*%beta - beta0*rep(1,length(y))),'F')^2 + lambda*sum(abs(beta)) if (norm(rbind(beta0list[j],betalist[[j]]) - rbind(beta0,beta),'F') < tol) { break } } return(list(obj=obj[1:j],beta=beta,intercept=beta0)) }

For instance, consider the following (simple) dataset, with three covariates

 1  chicago = read.table("http://freakonometrics.free.fr/chicago.txt",header=TRUE,sep=";")

that we can “normalize”

 1 2 3 4  X = model.matrix(lm(Fire~.,data=chicago))[,2:4] for(j in 1:3) X[,j] = (X[,j]-mean(X[,j]))/sd(X[,j]) y = chicago$Fire y = (y-mean(y))/sd(y) To initialize the algorithm, use the OLS estimate  1  beta_init = lm(Fire~0+.,data=chicago)$coef

For instance

 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12  lasso_coord_desc(X,y,beta_init,lambda=.001) $obj [1] 0.001014426 0.001008009 0.001009558 0.001011094 0.001011119 0.001011119$beta [,1] X_1 0.0000000 X_2 0.3836087 X_3 -0.5026137   \$intercept [1] 2.060999e-16

and we can get the standard Lasso plot by looping,

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