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Subhro Ghosh, Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee, Hoang-Son Tran, Ujan Gangopadhyay

We investigate the problem of estimating the structure of a weighted network from repeated measurements of a Gaussian Graphical Model (GGM) on the network. In this vein, we consider GGMs whose covariance structures align with the geometry of the weighted network on which they are based. Such GGMs have been of longstanding interest in statistical physics, and are referred to as the Gaussian Free Field (GFF). In recent years, they have attracted considerable interest in the machine learning and theoretical computer science. In this work, we propose a novel estimator for the weighted network (equivalently, its Laplacian) from repeated measurements of a GFF on the network, based on the Fourier analytic properties of the Gaussian distribution. In this pursuit, our approach exploits complex-valued statistics constructed from observed data, that are of interest on their own right. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our estimator with concrete recovery guarantees and bounds on the required sample complexity. In particular, we show that the proposed statistic achieves the parametric rate of estimation for fixed network size. In the setting of networks growing with sample size, our results show that for Erdos-Renyi random graphs $G(d,p)$ above the connectivity threshold, we demonstrate that network recovery takes place with high probability as soon as the sample size $n$ satisfies $n \gg d^4 \log d \cdot p^{-2}$.

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Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee

Consider the spiked Wigner model \[ X = \sum_{i = 1}^k \lambda_i u_i u_i^\top + \sigma G, \] where $G$ is an $N \times N$ GOE random matrix, and the eigenvalues $\lambda_i$ are all spiked, i.e. above the Baik-Ben Arous-P\'ech\'e (BBP) threshold $\sigma$. We consider AIC-type model selection criteria of the form \[ -2 \, (\text{maximised log-likelihood}) + \gamma \, (\text{number of parameters}) \] for estimating the number $k$ of spikes. For $\gamma > 2$, the above criterion is strongly consistent provided $\lambda_k > \lambda_{\gamma}$, where $\lambda_{\gamma}$ is a threshold strictly above the BBP threshold, whereas for $\gamma < 2$, it almost surely overestimates $k$. Although AIC (which corresponds to $\gamma = 2$) is not strongly consistent, we show that taking $\gamma = 2 + \delta_N$, where $\delta_N \to 0$ and $\delta_N \gg N^{-2/3}$, results in a weakly consistent estimator of $k$. We also show that a certain soft minimiser of AIC is strongly consistent.

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Satyaki Mukherjee, Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee, Debarghya Ghoshdastidar

We consider the general dimensionality reduction problem of locating in a high-dimensional data cloud, a $k$-dimensional non-Gaussian subspace of interesting features. We use a projection pursuit approach -- we search for mutually orthogonal unit directions which maximise the 2-Wasserstein distance of the empirical distribution of data-projections along these directions from a standard Gaussian. Under a generative model, where there is a underlying (unknown) low-dimensional non-Gaussian subspace, we prove rigorous statistical guarantees on the accuracy of approximating this unknown subspace by the directions found by our projection pursuit approach. Our results operate in the regime where the data dimensionality is comparable to the sample size, and thus supplement the recent literature on the non-feasibility of locating interesting directions via projection pursuit in the complementary regime where the data dimensionality is much larger than the sample size.

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Sayak Chatterjee, Shirshendu Chatterjee, Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee, Anirban Nath, Sharmodeep Bhattacharyya

Network-valued time series are currently a common form of network data. However, the study of the aggregate behavior of network sequences generated from network-valued stochastic processes is relatively rare. Most of the existing research focuses on the simple setup where the networks are independent (or conditionally independent) across time, and all edges are updated synchronously at each time step. In this paper, we study the concentration properties of the aggregated adjacency matrix and the corresponding Laplacian matrix associated with network sequences generated from lazy network-valued stochastic processes, where edges update asynchronously, and each edge follows a lazy stochastic process for its updates independent of the other edges. We demonstrate the usefulness of these concentration results in proving consistency of standard estimators in community estimation and changepoint estimation problems. We also conduct a simulation study to demonstrate the effect of the laziness parameter, which controls the extent of temporal correlation, on the accuracy of community and changepoint estimation.

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Subhroshekhar Ghosh, Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee

Group or cluster structure on explanatory variables in machine learning problems is a very general phenomenon, which has attracted broad interest from practitioners and theoreticians alike. In this work we contribute an approach to learning under such group structure, that does not require prior information on the group identities. Our paradigm is motivated by the Laplacian geometry of an underlying network with a related community structure, and proceeds by directly incorporating this into a penalty that is effectively computed via a heat flow-based local network dynamics. In fact, we demonstrate a procedure to construct such a network based on the available data. Notably, we dispense with computationally intensive pre-processing involving clustering of variables, spectral or otherwise. Our technique is underpinned by rigorous theorems that guarantee its effective performance and provide bounds on its sample complexity. In particular, in a wide range of settings, it provably suffices to run the heat flow dynamics for time that is only logarithmic in the problem dimensions. We explore in detail the interfaces of our approach with key statistical physics models in network science, such as the Gaussian Free Field and the Stochastic Block Model. We validate our approach by successful applications to real-world data from a wide array of application domains, including computer science, genetics, climatology and economics. Our work raises the possibility of applying similar diffusion-based techniques to classical learning tasks, exploiting the interplay between geometric, dynamical and stochastic structures underlying the data.

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Avinandan Bose, Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee

Changepoint analysis deals with unsupervised detection and/or estimation of time-points in time-series data, when the distribution generating the data changes. In this article, we consider \emph{offline} changepoint detection in the context of large scale textual data. We build a specialised temporal topic model with provisions for changepoints in the distribution of topic proportions. As full likelihood based inference in this model is computationally intractable, we develop a computationally tractable approximate inference procedure. More specifically, we use sample splitting to estimate topic polytopes first and then apply a likelihood ratio statistic together with a modified version of the wild binary segmentation algorithm of Fryzlewicz et al. (2014). Our methodology facilitates automated detection of structural changes in large corpora without the need of manual processing by domain experts. As changepoints under our model correspond to changes in topic structure, the estimated changepoints are often highly interpretable as marking the surge or decline in popularity of a fashionable topic. We apply our procedure on two large datasets: (i) a corpus of English literature from the period 1800-1922 (Underwoodet al., 2015); (ii) abstracts from the High Energy Physics arXiv repository (Clementet al., 2019). We obtain some historically well-known changepoints and discover some new ones.

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Shyamal K. De, Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee

We consider offline detection of a single changepoint in binary and count time-series. We compare exact tests based on the cumulative sum (CUSUM) and the likelihood ratio (LR) statistics, and a new proposal that combines exact two-sample conditional tests with multiplicity correction, against standard asymptotic tests based on the Brownian bridge approximation to the CUSUM statistic. We see empirically that the exact tests are much more powerful in situations where normal approximations driving asymptotic tests are not trustworthy: (i) small sample settings; (ii) sparse parametric settings; (iii) time-series with changepoint near the boundary. We also consider a multichannel version of the problem, where channels can have different changepoints. Controlling the False Discovery Rate (FDR), we simultaneously detect changes in multiple channels. This "local" approach is shown to be more advantageous than multivariate global testing approaches when the number of channels with changepoints is much smaller than the total number of channels. As a natural application, we consider network-valued time-series and use our approach with (a) edges as binary channels and (b) node-degrees or other local subgraph statistics as count channels. The local testing approach is seen to be much more informative than global network changepoint algorithms.

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Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee, Sayak Chakrabarti

We consider estimating the edge-probability matrix of a network generated from a graphon model when the full network is not observed---only some overlapping subgraphs are. We extend the neighbourhood smoothing (NBS) algorithm of Zhang et al. (2017) to this missing-data set-up and show experimentally that, for a wide range of graphons, the extended NBS algorithm achieves significantly smaller error rates than standard graphon estimation algorithms such as vanilla neighbourhood smoothing (NBS), universal singular value thresholding (USVT), blockmodel approximation, matrix completion, etc. We also show that the extended NBS algorithm is much more robust to missing data.

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Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee, Purnamrita Sarkar, Lizhen Lin

Community detection, which focuses on clustering nodes or detecting communities in (mostly) a single network, is a problem of considerable practical interest and has received a great deal of attention in the research community. While being able to cluster within a network is important, there are emerging needs to be able to cluster multiple networks. This is largely motivated by the routine collection of network data that are generated from potentially different populations. These networks may or may not have node correspondence. When node correspondence is present, we cluster networks by summarizing a network by its graphon estimate, whereas when node correspondence is not present, we propose a novel solution for clustering such networks by associating a computationally feasible feature vector to each network based on trace of powers of the adjacency matrix. We illustrate our methods using both simulated and real data sets, and theoretical justifications are provided in terms of consistency.

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Soumendu Sundar Mukherjee, Purnamrita Sarkar, Peter J. Bickel

In this article, we advance divide-and-conquer strategies for solving the community detection problem in networks. We propose two algorithms which perform clustering on a number of small subgraphs and finally patches the results into a single clustering. The main advantage of these algorithms is that they bring down significantly the computational cost of traditional algorithms, including spectral clustering, semi-definite programs, modularity based methods, likelihood based methods etc., without losing on accuracy and even improving accuracy at times. These algorithms are also, by nature, parallelizable. Thus, exploiting the facts that most traditional algorithms are accurate and the corresponding optimization problems are much simpler in small problems, our divide-and-conquer methods provide an omnibus recipe for scaling traditional algorithms up to large networks. We prove consistency of these algorithms under various subgraph selection procedures and perform extensive simulations and real-data analysis to understand the advantages of the divide-and-conquer approach in various settings.

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