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Abstract:While effective in practice, iterative methods for solving large systems of linear equations can be significantly affected by problem-dependent condition number quantities. This makes characterizing their time complexity challenging, particularly when we wish to make comparisons between deterministic and stochastic methods, that may or may not rely on preconditioning and/or fast matrix multiplication. In this work, we consider a fine-grained notion of complexity for iterative linear solvers which we call the spectral tail condition number, $\kappa_\ell$, defined as the ratio between the $\ell$th largest and the smallest singular value of the matrix representing the system. Concretely, we prove the following main algorithmic result: Given an $n\times n$ matrix $A$ and a vector $b$, we can find $\tilde{x}$ such that $\|A\tilde{x}-b\|\leq\epsilon\|b\|$ in time $\tilde{O}(\kappa_\ell\cdot n^2\log 1/\epsilon)$ for any $\ell = O(n^{\frac1{\omega-1}})=O(n^{0.729})$, where $\omega \approx 2.372$ is the current fast matrix multiplication exponent. This guarantee is achieved by Sketch-and-Project with Nesterov's acceleration. Some of the implications of our result, and of the use of $\kappa_\ell$, include direct improvement over a fine-grained analysis of the Conjugate Gradient method, suggesting a stronger separation between deterministic and stochastic iterative solvers; and relating the complexity of iterative solvers to the ongoing algorithmic advances in fast matrix multiplication, since the bound on $\ell$ improves with $\omega$. Our main technical contributions are new sharp characterizations for the first and second moments of the random projection matrix that commonly arises in sketching algorithms, building on a combination of techniques from combinatorial sampling via determinantal point processes and Gaussian universality results from random matrix theory.

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Abstract:We analyze inexact Riemannian gradient descent (RGD) where Riemannian gradients and retractions are inexactly (and cheaply) computed. Our focus is on understanding when inexact RGD converges and what is the complexity in the general nonconvex and constrained setting. We answer these questions in a general framework of tangential Block Majorization-Minimization (tBMM). We establish that tBMM converges to an $\epsilon$-stationary point within $O(\epsilon^{-2})$ iterations. Under a mild assumption, the results still hold when the subproblem is solved inexactly in each iteration provided the total optimality gap is bounded. Our general analysis applies to a wide range of classical algorithms with Riemannian constraints including inexact RGD and proximal gradient method on Stiefel manifolds. We numerically validate that tBMM shows improved performance over existing methods when applied to various problems, including nonnegative tensor decomposition with Riemannian constraints, regularized nonnegative matrix factorization, and low-rank matrix recovery problems.

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Abstract:By removing irrelevant and redundant features, feature selection aims to find a good representation of the original features. With the prevalence of unlabeled data, unsupervised feature selection has been proven effective in alleviating the so-called curse of dimensionality. Most existing matrix factorization-based unsupervised feature selection methods are built upon subspace learning, but they have limitations in capturing nonlinear structural information among features. It is well-known that kernel techniques can capture nonlinear structural information. In this paper, we construct a model by integrating kernel functions and kernel alignment, which can be equivalently characterized as a matrix factorization problem. However, such an extension raises another issue: the algorithm performance heavily depends on the choice of kernel, which is often unknown a priori. Therefore, we further propose a multiple kernel-based learning method. By doing so, our model can learn both linear and nonlinear similarity information and automatically generate the most appropriate kernel. Experimental analysis on real-world data demonstrates that the two proposed methods outperform other classic and state-of-the-art unsupervised feature selection methods in terms of clustering results and redundancy reduction in almost all datasets tested.

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Abstract:The problem of benign overfitting asks whether it is possible for a model to perfectly fit noisy training data and still generalize well. We study benign overfitting in two-layer leaky ReLU networks trained with the hinge loss on a binary classification task. We consider input data which can be decomposed into the sum of a common signal and a random noise component, which lie on subspaces orthogonal to one another. We characterize conditions on the signal to noise ratio (SNR) of the model parameters giving rise to benign versus non-benign, or harmful, overfitting: in particular, if the SNR is high then benign overfitting occurs, conversely if the SNR is low then harmful overfitting occurs. We attribute both benign and non-benign overfitting to an approximate margin maximization property and show that leaky ReLU networks trained on hinge loss with Gradient Descent (GD) satisfy this property. In contrast to prior work we do not require near orthogonality conditions on the training data: notably, for input dimension $d$ and training sample size $n$, while prior work shows asymptotically optimal error when $d = \Omega(n^2 \log n)$, here we require only $d = \Omega\left(n \log \frac{1}{\epsilon}\right)$ to obtain error within $\epsilon$ of optimal.

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Abstract:We propose SGD-exp, a stochastic gradient descent approach for linear and ReLU regressions under Massart noise (adversarial semi-random corruption model) for the fully streaming setting. We show novel nearly linear convergence guarantees of SGD-exp to the true parameter with up to $50\%$ Massart corruption rate, and with any corruption rate in the case of symmetric oblivious corruptions. This is the first convergence guarantee result for robust ReLU regression in the streaming setting, and it shows the improved convergence rate over previous robust methods for $L_1$ linear regression due to a choice of an exponentially decaying step size, known for its efficiency in practice. Our analysis is based on the drift analysis of a discrete stochastic process, which could also be interesting on its own.

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Abstract:Block majorization-minimization (BMM) is a simple iterative algorithm for nonconvex optimization that sequentially minimizes a majorizing surrogate of the objective function in each block coordinate while the other block coordinates are held fixed. We consider a family of BMM algorithms for minimizing smooth nonconvex objectives, where each parameter block is constrained within a subset of a Riemannian manifold. We establish that this algorithm converges asymptotically to the set of stationary points, and attains an $\epsilon$-stationary point within $\widetilde{O}(\epsilon^{-2})$ iterations. In particular, the assumptions for our complexity results are completely Euclidean when the underlying manifold is a product of Euclidean or Stiefel manifolds, although our analysis makes explicit use of the Riemannian geometry. Our general analysis applies to a wide range of algorithms with Riemannian constraints: Riemannian MM, block projected gradient descent, optimistic likelihood estimation, geodesically constrained subspace tracking, robust PCA, and Riemannian CP-dictionary-learning. We experimentally validate that our algorithm converges faster than standard Euclidean algorithms applied to the Riemannian setting.

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Abstract:Non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) is an important technique for obtaining low dimensional representations of datasets. However, classical NMF does not take into account data that is collected at different times or in different locations, which may exhibit heterogeneity. We resolve this problem by solving a modified NMF objective, Stratified-NMF, that simultaneously learns strata-dependent statistics and a shared topics matrix. We develop multiplicative update rules for this novel objective and prove convergence of the objective. Then, we experiment on synthetic data to demonstrate the efficiency and accuracy of the method. Lastly, we apply our method to three real world datasets and empirically investigate their learned features.

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Abstract:We introduce a class of manifold neural networks (MNNs) that we call Manifold Filter-Combine Networks (MFCNs), that aims to further our understanding of MNNs, analogous to how the aggregate-combine framework helps with the understanding of graph neural networks (GNNs). This class includes a wide variety of subclasses that can be thought of as the manifold analog of various popular GNNs. We then consider a method, based on building a data-driven graph, for implementing such networks when one does not have global knowledge of the manifold, but merely has access to finitely many sample points. We provide sufficient conditions for the network to provably converge to its continuum limit as the number of sample points tends to infinity. Unlike previous work (which focused on specific graph constructions), our rate of convergence does not directly depend on the number of filters used. Moreover, it exhibits linear dependence on the depth of the network rather than the exponential dependence obtained previously. Additionally, we provide several examples of interesting subclasses of MFCNs and of the rates of convergence that are obtained under specific graph constructions.

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Abstract:We study benign overfitting in two-layer ReLU networks trained using gradient descent and hinge loss on noisy data for binary classification. In particular, we consider linearly separable data for which a relatively small proportion of labels are corrupted or flipped. We identify conditions on the margin of the clean data that give rise to three distinct training outcomes: benign overfitting, in which zero loss is achieved and with high probability test data is classified correctly; overfitting, in which zero loss is achieved but test data is misclassified with probability lower bounded by a constant; and non-overfitting, in which clean points, but not corrupt points, achieve zero loss and again with high probability test data is classified correctly. Our analysis provides a fine-grained description of the dynamics of neurons throughout training and reveals two distinct phases: in the first phase clean points achieve close to zero loss, in the second phase clean points oscillate on the boundary of zero loss while corrupt points either converge towards zero loss or are eventually zeroed by the network. We prove these results using a combinatorial approach that involves bounding the number of clean versus corrupt updates across these phases of training.

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Abstract:Sparse signal recovery is one of the most fundamental problems in various applications, including medical imaging and remote sensing. Many greedy algorithms based on the family of hard thresholding operators have been developed to solve the sparse signal recovery problem. More recently, Natural Thresholding (NT) has been proposed with improved computational efficiency. This paper proposes and discusses convergence guarantees for stochastic natural thresholding algorithms by extending the NT from the deterministic version with linear measurements to the stochastic version with a general objective function. We also conduct various numerical experiments on linear and nonlinear measurements to demonstrate the performance of StoNT.

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