Robust Nonnegative Matrix Factorization via $L_1$ Norm Regularization Machine Learning

Nonnegative Matrix Factorization (NMF) is a widely used technique in many applications such as face recognition, motion segmentation, etc. It approximates the nonnegative data in an original high dimensional space with a linear representation in a low dimensional space by using the product of two nonnegative matrices. In many applications data are often partially corrupted with large additive noise. When the positions of noise are known, some existing variants of NMF can be applied by treating these corrupted entries as missing values. However, the positions are often unknown in many real world applications, which prevents the usage of traditional NMF or other existing variants of NMF. This paper proposes a Robust Nonnegative Matrix Factorization (RobustNMF) algorithm that explicitly models the partial corruption as large additive noise without requiring the information of positions of noise. In practice, large additive noise can be used to model outliers. In particular, the proposed method jointly approximates the clean data matrix with the product of two nonnegative matrices and estimates the positions and values of outliers/noise. An efficient iterative optimization algorithm with a solid theoretical justification has been proposed to learn the desired matrix factorization. Experimental results demonstrate the advantages of the proposed algorithm.

Recovery Guarantee of Non-negative Matrix Factorization via Alternating Updates

Neural Information Processing Systems

Non-negative matrix factorization is a popular tool for decomposing data into feature and weight matrices under non-negativity constraints. It enjoys practical success but is poorly understood theoretically. This paper proposes an algorithm that alternates between decoding the weights and updating the features, and shows that assuming a generative model of the data, it provably recovers the ground-truth under fairly mild conditions. In particular, its only essential requirement on features is linear independence. Furthermore, the algorithm uses ReLU to exploit the non-negativity for decoding the weights, and thus can tolerate adversarial noise that can potentially be as large as the signal, and can tolerate unbiased noise much larger than the signal. The analysis relies on a carefully designed coupling between two potential functions, which we believe is of independent interest.


AAAI Conferences

Matrix factorization is a popular approach to solving matrix estimation problems based on partial observations. Existing matrix factorization is based on least squares and aims to yield a low-rank matrix to interpret the conditional sample means given the observations. However, in many real applications with skewed and extreme data, least squares cannot explain their central tendency or tail distributions, yielding undesired estimates. In this paper, we propose expectile matrix factorization by introducing asymmetric least squares, a key concept in expectile regression analysis, into the matrix factorization framework. We propose an efficient algorithm to solve the new problem based on alternating minimization and quadratic programming. We prove that our algorithm converges to a global optimum and exactly recovers the true underlying low-rank matrices when noise is zero. For synthetic data with skewed noise and a real-world dataset containing web service response times, the proposed scheme achieves lower recovery errors than the existing matrix factorization method based on least squares in a wide range of settings.

Stability of matrix factorization for collaborative filtering Machine Learning

We study the stability vis a vis adversarial noise of matrix factorization algorithm for matrix completion. In particular, our results include: (I) we bound the gap between the solution matrix of the factorization method and the ground truth in terms of root mean square error; (II) we treat the matrix factorization as a subspace fitting problem and analyze the difference between the solution subspace and the ground truth; (III) we analyze the prediction error of individual users based on the subspace stability. We apply these results to the problem of collaborative filtering under manipulator attack, which leads to useful insights and guidelines for collaborative filtering system design.

A Provably Correct and Robust Algorithm for Convolutive Nonnegative Matrix Factorization Machine Learning

In this paper, we propose a provably correct algorithm for convolutive nonnegative matrix factorization (CNMF) under separability assumptions. CNMF is a convolutive variant of nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF), which functions as an NMF with additional sequential structure. This model is useful in a number of applications, such as audio source separation and neural sequence identification. While a number of heuristic algorithms have been proposed to solve CNMF, to the best of our knowledge no provably correct algorithms have been developed. We present an algorithm that takes advantage of the NMF model underlying CNMF and exploits existing algorithms for separable NMF to provably find a solution under certain conditions. Our approach guarantees the solution in low noise settings, and runs in polynomial time. We illustrate its effectiveness on synthetic datasets, and on a singing bird audio sequence.