Large-scale $\ell_1$-regularized loss minimization problems arise in high-dimensional applications such as compressed sensing and high-dimensional supervised learning, including classification and regression problems. In many applications, it remains challenging to apply the sparse learning model to large-scale problems that have massive data samples with high-dimensional features. One popular and promising strategy is to scaling up the optimization problem in parallel. Parallel solvers run multiple cores on a shared memory system or a distributed environment to speed up the computation, while the practical usage is limited by the huge dimension in the feature space and synchronization problems.
In this dissertation, I carry out the research along the direction with particular focuses on scaling up the optimization of sparse learning for supervised and unsupervised learning problems. For the supervised learning, I firstly propose an asynchronous parallel solver to optimize the large-scale sparse learning model in a multithreading environment. Moreover, I propose a distributed framework to conduct the learning process when the dataset is distributed stored among different machines. Then the proposed model is further extended to the studies of risk genetic factors for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) among different research institutions, integrating a group feature selection framework to rank the top risk SNPs for AD. For the unsupervised learning problem, I propose a highly efficient solver, termed Stochastic Coordinate Coding (SCC), scaling up the optimization of dictionary learning and sparse coding problems. The common issue for the medical imaging research is that the longitudinal features of patients among different time points are beneficial to study together. To further improve the dictionary learning model, I propose a multi-task dictionary learning method, learning the different task simultaneously and utilizing shared and individual dictionary to encode both consistent and changing imaging features.