BLISS Seminar: Sample complexity of mixture of sparse linear regressions

Seminar | September 18 | 3-4 p.m. | 400 Cory Hall

 Arya Mazumdar, University of Massachusetts Amherst

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

In the problem of learning mixtures of linear regressions, the goal is to learn a collection of signal vectors from a sequence of (possibly noisy) linear measurements, where each measurement is evaluated on an unknown signal drawn uniformly from this collection. This setting is quite expressive and has been studied both in terms of practical applications and for the sake of establishing theoretical guarantees. In this paper, we consider the case where the signal vectors are sparse; this generalizes the popular compressed sensing paradigm. We improve upon the state-of-the-art results as follows: In the noisy case, we resolve a major open question of Yin et al.2019, by showing how to handle collections of more than two vectors and present the first robust reconstruction algorithm, i.e., if the signals are not perfectly sparse, we still learn a good sparse approximation of the signals. In the noiseless case, as well as in the noisy case, we show how to circumvent the need for a restrictive assumption required in the previous work. Our techniques are quite different from those in the previous work: for the noiseless case, we rely on a property of sparse polynomials and for the noisy case, we provide new connections to learning Gaussian mixtures and use ideas from the theory of error correcting codes.

What does this have to do with the deletion channel? Turns out that a popular recovery problem in the deletion channel, called trace reconstruction, leads to developing tools and techniques that we use in the above project.