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Graphical Nonconvex Optimization via an Adaptive Convex Relaxation
Qiang Sun · Kean Ming Tan · Han Liu · Tong Zhang

Thu Jul 12 08:50 AM -- 09:00 AM (PDT) @ A9

We consider the problem of learning high-dimensional Gaussian graphical models. The graphical lasso is one of the most popular methods for estimating Gaussian graphical models. However, it does not achieve the oracle rate of convergence. In this paper, we propose the graphical nonconvex optimization for optimal estimation in Gaussian graphical models, which is then approximated by a sequence of convex programs. Our proposal is computationally tractable and produces an estimator that achieves the oracle rate of convergence. The statistical error introduced by the sequential approximation using a sequence of convex programs is clearly demonstrated via a contraction property. The proposed methodology is then extended to modeling semiparametric graphical models. We show via numerical studies that the proposed estimator outperforms other popular methods for estimating Gaussian graphical models.

Author Information

Qiang Sun (University of Toronto)
Kean Ming Tan (University of Minnesota Twin Cities)
Han Liu (Princeton University)
Tong Zhang (Tecent AI Lab)
Tong Zhang

Tong Zhang is a professor of Computer Science and Mathematics at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His research interests are machine learning, big data and their applications. He obtained a BA in Mathematics and Computer Science from Cornell University, and a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University. Before joining HKUST, Tong Zhang was a professor at Rutgers University, and worked previously at IBM, Yahoo as research scientists, Baidu as the director of Big Data Lab, and Tencent as the founding director of AI Lab. Tong Zhang was an ASA fellow and IMS fellow, and has served as the chair or area-chair in major machine learning conferences such as NIPS, ICML, and COLT, and has served as associate editors in top machine learning journals such as PAMI, JMLR, and Machine Learning Journal.

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