On the Optimization Landscape of Burer-Monteiro Factorization: When do Global Solutions Correspond to Ground Truth?

In low-rank matrix recovery, the goal is to recover a low-rank matrix, given a limited number of linear and possibly noisy measurements.¬†Low-rank matrix recovery is typically solved via a nonconvex method called Burer-Monteiro factorization (BM). If the rank of the ground truth is known, BM is free of sub-optimal local solutions, and its true solutions … Read more

Behind the Scenes of Gradient Descent: A Trajectory Analysis via Basis Function Decomposition

This work analyzes the solution trajectory of gradient-based algorithms via a novel basis function decomposition. We show that, although solution trajectories of gradient-based algorithms may vary depending on the learning task, they behave almost monotonically when projected onto an appropriate orthonormal function basis. Such projection gives rise to a basis function decomposition of the solution … Read more

Blessing of Nonconvexity in Deep Linear Models: Depth Flattens the Optimization Landscape Around the True Solution

This work characterizes the effect of depth on the optimization landscape of linear regression, showing that, despite their nonconvexity, deeper models have more desirable optimization landscape. We consider a robust and over-parameterized setting, where a subset of measurements are grossly corrupted with noise and the true linear model is captured via an $N$-layer linear neural … Read more

Global Convergence of Sub-gradient Method for Robust Matrix Recovery: Small Initialization, Noisy Measurements, and Over-parameterization

In this work, we study the performance of sub-gradient method (SubGM) on a natural nonconvex and nonsmooth formulation of low-rank matrix recovery with $\ell_1$-loss, where the goal is to recover a low-rank matrix from a limited number of measurements, a subset of which may be grossly corrupted with noise. We study a scenario where the … Read more

Implicit Regularization of Sub-Gradient Method in Robust Matrix Recovery: Don’t be Afraid of Outliers

It is well-known that simple short-sighted algorithms, such as gradient descent, generalize well in the over-parameterized learning tasks, due to their implicit regularization. However, it is unknown whether the implicit regularization of these algorithms can be extended to robust learning tasks, where a subset of samples may be grossly corrupted with noise. In this work, … Read more