Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Sparse Generalized Eigenvalue Problem via Smooth Optimization

To be filed under "yet another matrix factorization" in the Advanced Matrix Factorization Jungle page. This time the factorization aims at extracting the leading sparse generalized eigenvector.

Sparse Generalized Eigenvalue Problem via Smooth Optimization by Junxiao Song, Prabhu Babu, Daniel P. Palomar

In this paper, we consider an $\ell_{0}$-norm penalized formulation of the generalized eigenvalue problem (GEP), aimed at extracting the leading sparse generalized eigenvector of a matrix pair. The formulation involves maximization of a discontinuous nonconcave objective function over a nonconvex constraint set, and is therefore computationally intractable. To tackle the problem, we first approximate the $\ell_{0}$-norm by a continuous surrogate function. Then an algorithm is developed via iteratively majorizing the surrogate function by a quadratic separable function, which at each iteration reduces to a regular generalized eigenvalue problem. A preconditioned steepest ascent algorithm for finding the leading generalized eigenvector is provided. A systematic way based on smoothing is proposed to deal with the "singularity issue" that arises when a quadratic function is used to majorize the nondifferentiable surrogate function. For sparse GEPs with special structure, algorithms that admit a closed-form solution at every iteration are derived. Numerical experiments show that the proposed algorithms match or outperform existing algorithms in terms of computational complexity and support recovery.

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