Multiscale Dictionary Learning: Non-Asymptotic Bounds and Robustness

Mauro Maggioni, Stanislav Minsker, Nate Strawn; 17(2):1−51, 2016.


High-dimensional datasets are well-approximated by low- dimensional structures. Over the past decade, this empirical observation motivated the investigation of detection, measurement, and modeling techniques to exploit these low- dimensional intrinsic structures, yielding numerous implications for high-dimensional statistics, machine learning, and signal processing. Manifold learning (where the low-dimensional structure is a manifold) and dictionary learning (where the low- dimensional structure is the set of sparse linear combinations of vectors from a finite dictionary) are two prominent theoretical and computational frameworks in this area. Despite their ostensible distinction, the recently-introduced Geometric Multi-Resolution Analysis (GMRA) provides a robust, computationally efficient, multiscale procedure for simultaneously learning manifolds and dictionaries.

In this work, we prove non-asymptotic probabilistic bounds on the approximation error of GMRA for a rich class of data-generating statistical models that includes “noisy” manifolds, thereby establishing the theoretical robustness of the procedure and confirming empirical observations. In particular, if a dataset aggregates near a low- dimensional manifold, our results show that the approximation error of the GMRA is completely independent of the ambient dimension. Our work therefore establishes GMRA as a provably fast algorithm for dictionary learning with approximation and sparsity guarantees. We include several numerical experiments confirming these theoretical results, and our theoretical framework provides new tools for assessing the behavior of manifold learning and dictionary learning procedures on a large class of interesting models.


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