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Linear-Time Gromov Wasserstein Distances using Low Rank Couplings and Costs
Meyer Scetbon · Gabriel Peyré · Marco Cuturi

Tue Jul 19 03:30 PM -- 05:30 PM (PDT) @ Hall E #720
The ability to align points across two related yet incomparable point clouds (e.g. living in different spaces) plays an important role in machine learning. The Gromov-Wasserstein (GW) framework provides an increasingly popular answer to such problems, by seeking a low-distortion, geometry-preserving assignment between these points.As a non-convex, quadratic generalization of optimal transport (OT), GW is NP-hard. While practitioners often resort to solving GW approximately as a nested sequence of entropy-regularized OT problems, the cubic complexity (in the number $n$ of samples) of that approach is a roadblock.We show in this work how a recent variant of the OT problem that restricts the set of admissible couplings to those having a low-rank factorization is remarkably well suited to the resolution of GW:when applied to GW, we show that this approach is not only able to compute a stationary point of the GW problem in time $O(n^2)$, but also uniquely positioned to benefit from the knowledge that the initial cost matrices are low-rank, to yield a linear time $O(n)$ GW approximation. Our approach yields similar results, yet orders of magnitude faster computation than the SoTA entropic GW approaches, on both simulated and real data.

Author Information

Meyer Scetbon (CREST, ENSAE)
Gabriel Peyré (CNRS and ENS)
Marco Cuturi (Google)

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