# Group Lasso with intersecting groups?

Let's say I want to model $\vec{y}$ based on $\vec{x}_1$, $\vec{x}_2$, ... $\vec{x}_m$ as:

$$\vec{y} ~~\approx~~ \beta_1 \vec{x}_1 ~+~ ... ~+~ \beta_m\vec{x}_m$$

Now, I could use Lasso to encourage most of the $\beta_j$ to be zero.

But let's say instead I have sets of variables, $G_1$ ... $G_p$, each $G_k \subset \lbrace 1 ... m \rbrace$, and I want to apply a penalty $\alpha_k$ for $G_k$ if any $\beta_j \ne 0$, $j \in G_k$. i.e., I want to encourage sparse participation of the groups of variables.

Now, I could solve this as a quadratic programming problem, that is,

$$\min||\beta_1 \vec{x}_1 ~+~ ... ~+~ \beta_m\vec{x}_m - \vec{y}||_2^2 ~~+~~ \alpha_1\max(|\beta_j|\text{ for }j \in G_1) ~+~ ... ~+~ \alpha_p\max(|\beta_j|\text{ for }j \in G_p)$$

where $\max(|...|)$ can be modeled as linear constraints.

Unfortunately, my anecdotal experience is that this does not scale nearly as well as the Lasso algorithm in glmnet, which, for reasons that I don't understand, seems to be vastly more efficient than solving the equivalent QP problem using IPOPT.

Do there exist algorithms, or even better implementations thereof, that solve the sort of intersecting-group-Lasso problem as I have described it above?