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Publication# Fast hard thresholding with Nesterov's gradient method

Abstract

We provide an algorithmic framework for structured sparse recovery which unifies combinatorial optimization with the non-smooth convex optimization framework by Nesterov [1, 2]. Our algorithm, dubbed Nesterov iterative hard-thresholding (NIHT), is similar to the algebraic pursuits (ALPS) in [3] in spirit: we use the gradient information in the convex data error objective to navigate over the non convex set of structured sparse signals. While ALPS feature a priori approximation guarantees, we were only able to provide an online approximation guarantee for NIHT (e.g., the guarantees require the algorithm execution). Experiments show however that NIHT can empirically outperform ALPS and other state-of-the-art convex optimization-based algorithms in sparse recovery.

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Related concepts (5)

Algorithm

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm (ˈælɡərɪðəm) is a finite sequence of rigorous instructions, typically used to solve a class of specific problems or to perform a computation. Algorithms are used as specifications for performing calculations and data processing. More advanced algorithms can use conditionals to divert the code execution through various routes (referred to as automated decision-making) and deduce valid inferences (referred to as automated reasoning), achieving automation eventually.

Mathematical optimization

Mathematical optimization (alternatively spelled optimisation) or mathematical programming is the selection of a best element, with regard to some criterion, from some set of available alternatives. It is generally divided into two subfields: discrete optimization and continuous optimization. Optimization problems arise in all quantitative disciplines from computer science and engineering to operations research and economics, and the development of solution methods has been of interest in mathematics for centuries.

Combinatorial optimization

Combinatorial optimization is a subfield of mathematical optimization that consists of finding an optimal object from a finite set of objects, where the set of feasible solutions is discrete or can be reduced to a discrete set. Typical combinatorial optimization problems are the travelling salesman problem ("TSP"), the minimum spanning tree problem ("MST"), and the knapsack problem. In many such problems, such as the ones previously mentioned, exhaustive search is not tractable, and so specialized algorithms that quickly rule out large parts of the search space or approximation algorithms must be resorted to instead.