Information Theory and Estimation

Jun 11, 2019



Generalized Approximate Survey Propagation for High-Dimensional Estimation In Generalized Linear Estimation (GLE) problems, we seek to estimate a signal that is observed through a linear transform followed by a component-wise, possibly nonlinear and noisy, channel. In the Bayesian optimal setting, Generalized Approximate Message Passing (GAMP) is known to achieve optimal performance for GLE. However, its performance can significantly deteriorate whenever there is a mismatch between the assumed and the true generative model, a situation frequently encountered in practice. In this paper, we propose a new algorithm, named Generalized Approximate Survey Propagation (GASP), for solving GLE in the presence of prior or model misspecifications. As a prototypical example, we consider the phase retrieval problem, where we show that GASP outperforms the corresponding GAMP, reducing the reconstruction threshold and, for certain choices of its parameters, approaching Bayesian optimal performance. Furthermore, we present a set of state evolution equations that can precisely characterize the performance of GASP in the high-dimensional limit. Boosted Density Estimation Remastered There has recently been a steady increase in the number iterative approaches to density estimation. However, an accompanying burst of formal convergence guarantees has not followed; all results pay the price of heavy assumptions which are often unrealistic or hard to check. The \emph{Generative Adversarial Network (GAN)} literature --- seemingly orthogonal to the aforementioned pursuit --- has had the side effect of a renewed interest in variational divergence minimisation (notably f-GAN). We show that by introducing a \textit{weak learning assumption} (in the sense of the classical boosting framework) we are able to import some recent results from the GAN literature to develop an iterative boosted density estimation algorithm, including formal convergence results with rates, that does not suffer the shortcomings other approaches. We show that the density fit is an exponential family, and as part of our analysis obtain an improved variational characterization of f-GAN. Inference and Sampling of K33-free Ising Models We call an Ising model tractable when it is possible to compute its partition function value (statistical inference) in polynomial time. The tractability also implies an ability to sample configurations of this model in polynomial time. The notion of tractability extends the basic case of planar zero-field Ising models. Our starting point is to describe algorithms for the basic case computing partition function and sampling efficiently. Then, we extend our tractable inference and sampling algorithms to models, whose triconnected components are either planar or graphs of O(1) size. In particular, it results in a polynomial-time inference and sampling algorithms for K33 (minor) free topologies of zero-field Ising models - a generalization of planar graphs with a potentially unbounded genus. Random Matrix Improved Covariance Estimation for a Large Class of Metrics Relying on recent advances in statistical estimation of covariance distances based on random matrix theory, this article proposes an improved covariance and precision matrix estimation for a wide family of metrics. The method is shown to largely outperform the sample covariance matrix estimate and to compete with state-of-the-art methods, while at the same time being computationally simpler. Applications to linear and quadratic discriminant analyses also demonstrate significant gains, therefore suggesting practical interest to statistical machine learning. Dual Entangled Polynomial Code: Three-Dimensional Coding for Distributed Matrix Multiplication Matrix multiplication is a fundamental building block in various machine learning algorithms. When the matrix comes from a large dataset, the multiplication will be split into multiple tasks which calculate the multiplication of submatrices on different nodes. As some nodes may be stragglers, coding schemes have been proposed to tolerate stragglers in such distributed matrix multiplication. However, existing coding schemes typically split the matrices in only one or two dimensions, limiting their capabilities to handle large-scale matrix multiplication. Three-dimensional coding, however, does not have any code construction that achieves the optimal number of tasks required for decoding. The best result is twice the optimal number, achieved by entangled polynomial (EP) codes. In this paper, we propose dual entangled polynomial (DEP) codes that significantly improve this bound from 2x to 1.5x. With experiments in a real cloud environment, we show that DEP codes can also save the decoding overhead and memory consumption of tasks. Neural Joint Source-Channel Coding For reliable transmission across a noisy communication channel, classical results from information theory show that it is asymptotically optimal to separate out the source and channel coding processes. However, this decomposition can fall short in the finite bit-length regime, as it requires non-trivial tuning of hand-crafted codes and assumes infinite computational power for decoding. In this work, we propose to jointly learn the encoding and decoding processes using a new discrete variational autoencoder model. By adding noise into the latent codes to simulate the channel during training, we learn to both compress and error-correct given a fixed bit-length and computational budget. We obtain codes that are not only competitive against several separation schemes, but also learn useful robust representations of the data for downstream tasks such as classification. Finally, inference amortization yields an extremely fast neural decoder, almost an order of magnitude faster compared to standard decoding methods based on iterative belief propagation. Doubly-Competitive Distribution Estimation Distribution estimation is a statistical-learning cornerstone. Its classical min-max formulation minimizes the estimation error for the worst distribution, hence under-performs for practical distributions that, like power-law, are often rather simple. Modern research has therefore focused on two frameworks: structural estimation that improves learning accuracy by assuming a simple structure of the underlying distribution; and competitive, or instance-optimal, estimation that achieves the performance of a genie aided estimator up to a small excess error that vanishes as the sample size grows, regardless of the distribution. This paper combines and strengthens the two frameworks. It designs a single estimator whose excess error vanishes both at a universal rate as the sample size grows, as well as when the (unknown) distribution gets simpler. We show that the resulting algorithm significantly improves the performance guarantees for numerous competitive- and structural-estimation results. The algorithm runs in near-linear time and is robust to model misspecification and domain-symbol permutations. Homomorphic Sensing A recent line of research termed "unlabeled sensing" and "shuffled linear regression" has been exploring under great generality the recovery of signals from subsampled and permuted measurements; a challenging problem in diverse fields of data science and machine learning. In this paper we introduce an abstraction of this problem which we call "homomorphic sensing". Given a linear subspace and a finite set of linear transformations we develop an algebraic theory which establishes conditions guaranteeing that points in the subspace are uniquely determined from their homomorphic image under some transformation in the set. As a special case, we recover known conditions for unlabeled sensing, as well as new results and extensions. On the algorithmic level we exhibit two dynamic programming based algorithms, which to the best of our knowledge are the first working solutions for the unlabeled sensing problem for small dimensions. One of them, additionally based on branch-and-bound, when applied to image registration under affine transformations, performs on par with or outperforms state-of-the-art methods on benchmark datasets. Phaseless PCA: Low-Rank Matrix Recovery from Column-wise Phaseless Measurements This work proposes the first set of simple, practically useful, and provable algorithms for two inter-related problems. (i) The first is low-rank matrix recovery from magnitude-only (phaseless) linear projections of each of its columns. This finds important applications in phaseless dynamic imaging, e.g., Fourier Ptychographic imaging of live biological specimens. Our guarantee shows that, in the regime of small ranks, the sample complexity required is only a little larger than the order-optimal one, and much smaller than what standard (unstructured) phase retrieval methods need. %Moreover our algorithm is fast and memory-efficient if only the minimum required number of measurements is used (ii) The second problem we study is a dynamic extension of the above: it allows the low-dimensional subspace from which each image/signal (each column of the low-rank matrix) is generated to change with time. We introduce a simple algorithm that is provably correct as long as the subspace changes are piecewise constant. Rate Distortion For Model Compression:From Theory To Practice The enormous size of modern deep neural networks makes it challenging to deploy those models in memory and communication limited scenarios. Thus, compressing a trained model without a significant loss in performance has become an increasingly important task. Tremendous advances has been made recently, where the main technical building blocks are parameter pruning, parameter sharing (quantization), and low-rank factorization. In this paper, we propose principled approaches to improve upon the common heuristics used in those building blocks, namely pruning and quantization. We first study the fundamental limit for model compression via rate distortion theory. We bring the rate distortion function from data compression to model compression to quantify this fundamental limit. We prove a lower bound for the rate distortion function and prove its achievability for linear models. Although this achievable compression scheme is intractable in practice, this analysis motivates a novel model compression framework. This framework provides a new objective function in model compression, which can be applied together with other classes of model compressors such as pruning or quantization. Theoretically, we prove that the proposed scheme is optimal for compressing one-hidden-layer ReLU neural networks. Empirically, we show that the proposed scheme improves upon the baseline in the compression-accuracy tradeoff.



About ICML 2019

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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