Published on Mon Jan 20 2020

Finding the Sparsest Vectors in a Subspace: Theory, Algorithms, and Applications

Qing Qu, Zhihui Zhu, Xiao Li, Manolis C. Tsakiris, John Wright, René Vidal

The problem of finding the sparsest vector (direction) in a low dimensional subspace can be considered as a homogeneous variant of the sparse recovery problem. In contrast to the classical sparse.recovery problem, the most natural formulation for finding the. sparsed vector in a

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Abstract

The problem of finding the sparsest vector (direction) in a low dimensional subspace can be considered as a homogeneous variant of the sparse recovery problem, which finds applications in robust subspace recovery, dictionary learning, sparse blind deconvolution, and many other problems in signal processing and machine learning. However, in contrast to the classical sparse recovery problem, the most natural formulation for finding the sparsest vector in a subspace is usually nonconvex. In this paper, we overview recent advances on global nonconvex optimization theory for solving this problem, ranging from geometric analysis of its optimization landscapes, to efficient optimization algorithms for solving the associated nonconvex optimization problem, to applications in machine intelligence, representation learning, and imaging sciences. Finally, we conclude this review by pointing out several interesting open problems for future research.