In Compressive Sensing Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CS-MRI), one can reconstruct a MR image with good quality from only a small number of measurements. This can significantly reduce MR scanning time. According to structured sparsity theory, the measurements can be further reduced to $\mathcal{O}(K+\log n)$ for tree-sparse data instead of $\mathcal{O}(K+K\log n)$ for standard $K$-sparse data with length $n$. However, few of existing algorithms has utilized this for CS-MRI, while most of them use Total Variation and wavelet sparse regularization. On the other side, some algorithms have been proposed for tree sparsity regularization, but few of them has validated the benefit of tree structure in CS-MRI. In this paper, we propose a fast convex optimization algorithm to improve CS-MRI. Wavelet sparsity, gradient sparsity and tree sparsity are all considered in our model for real MR images. The original complex problem is decomposed to three simpler subproblems then each of the subproblems can be efficiently solved with an iterative scheme. Numerous experiments have been conducted and show that the proposed algorithm outperforms the state-of-the-art CS-MRI algorithms, and gain better reconstructions results on real MR images than general tree based solvers or algorithms.

Rao, Nikhil, Nowak, Robert, Cox, Christopher, Rogers, Timothy

Classification with a sparsity constraint on the solution plays a central role in many high dimensional machine learning applications. In some cases, the features can be grouped together so that entire subsets of features can be selected or not selected. In many applications, however, this can be too restrictive. In this paper, we are interested in a less restrictive form of structured sparse feature selection: we assume that while features can be grouped according to some notion of similarity, not all features in a group need be selected for the task at hand. When the groups are comprised of disjoint sets of features, this is sometimes referred to as the "sparse group" lasso, and it allows for working with a richer class of models than traditional group lasso methods. Our framework generalizes conventional sparse group lasso further by allowing for overlapping groups, an additional flexiblity needed in many applications and one that presents further challenges. The main contribution of this paper is a new procedure called Sparse Overlapping Group (SOG) lasso, a convex optimization program that automatically selects similar features for classification in high dimensions. We establish model selection error bounds for SOGlasso classification problems under a fairly general setting. In particular, the error bounds are the first such results for classification using the sparse group lasso. Furthermore, the general SOGlasso bound specializes to results for the lasso and the group lasso, some known and some new. The SOGlasso is motivated by multi-subject fMRI studies in which functional activity is classified using brain voxels as features, source localization problems in Magnetoencephalography (MEG), and analyzing gene activation patterns in microarray data analysis. Experiments with real and synthetic data demonstrate the advantages of SOGlasso compared to the lasso and group lasso.

Kyrillidis, Anastasios, Baldassarre, Luca, El-Halabi, Marwa, Tran-Dinh, Quoc, Cevher, Volkan

Compressive sensing (CS) exploits sparsity to recover sparse or compressible signals from dimensionality reducing, non-adaptive sensing mechanisms. Sparsity is also used to enhance interpretability in machine learning and statistics applications: While the ambient dimension is vast in modern data analysis problems, the relevant information therein typically resides in a much lower dimensional space. However, many solutions proposed nowadays do not leverage the true underlying structure. Recent results in CS extend the simple sparsity idea to more sophisticated {\em structured} sparsity models, which describe the interdependency between the nonzero components of a signal, allowing to increase the interpretability of the results and lead to better recovery performance. In order to better understand the impact of structured sparsity, in this chapter we analyze the connections between the discrete models and their convex relaxations, highlighting their relative advantages. We start with the general group sparse model and then elaborate on two important special cases: the dispersive and the hierarchical models. For each, we present the models in their discrete nature, discuss how to solve the ensuing discrete problems and then describe convex relaxations. We also consider more general structures as defined by set functions and present their convex proxies. Further, we discuss efficient optimization solutions for structured sparsity problems and illustrate structured sparsity in action via three applications.

Morales, Jean, Micchelli, Charles A., Pontil, Massimiliano

We study the problem of learning a sparse linear regression vector under additional conditions on the structure of its sparsity pattern. We present a family of convex penalty functions, which encode this prior knowledge by means of a set of constraints on the absolute values of the regression coefficients. This family subsumes the $\ell_1$ norm and is flexible enough to include different models of sparsity patterns, which are of practical and theoretical importance. We establish some important properties of these functions and discuss some examples where they can be computed explicitly. Moreover, we present a convergent optimization algorithm for solving regularized least squares with these penalty functions. Numerical simulations highlight the benefit of structured sparsity and the advantage offered by our approach over the Lasso and other related methods.

Micchelli, Charles A., Morales, Jean M., Pontil, Massimiliano

We study the problem of learning a sparse linear regression vector under additional conditions on the structure of its sparsity pattern. This problem is relevant in machine learning, statistics and signal processing. It is well known that a linear regression can benefit from knowledge that the underlying regression vector is sparse. The combinatorial problem of selecting the nonzero components of this vector can be "relaxed" by regularizing the squared error with a convex penalty function like the $\ell_1$ norm. However, in many applications, additional conditions on the structure of the regression vector and its sparsity pattern are available. Incorporating this information into the learning method may lead to a significant decrease of the estimation error. In this paper, we present a family of convex penalty functions, which encode prior knowledge on the structure of the vector formed by the absolute values of the regression coefficients. This family subsumes the $\ell_1$ norm and is flexible enough to include different models of sparsity patterns, which are of practical and theoretical importance. We establish the basic properties of these penalty functions and discuss some examples where they can be computed explicitly. Moreover, we present a convergent optimization algorithm for solving regularized least squares with these penalty functions. Numerical simulations highlight the benefit of structured sparsity and the advantage offered by our approach over the Lasso method and other related methods.