In the noisy tensor completion problem we observe $m$ entries (whose location is chosen uniformly at random) from an unknown $n_1 \times n_2 \times n_3$ tensor $T$. We assume that $T$ is entry-wise close to being rank $r$. Our goal is to fill in its missing entries using as few observations as possible. Let $n = \max(n_1, n_2, n_3)$. We show that if $m = n^{3/2} r$ then there is a polynomial time algorithm based on the sixth level of the sum-of-squares hierarchy for completing it. Our estimate agrees with almost all of $T$'s entries almost exactly and works even when our observations are corrupted by noise. This is also the first algorithm for tensor completion that works in the overcomplete case when $r > n$, and in fact it works all the way up to $r = n^{3/2-\epsilon}$. Our proofs are short and simple and are based on establishing a new connection between noisy tensor completion (through the language of Rademacher complexity) and the task of refuting random constant satisfaction problems. This connection seems to have gone unnoticed even in the context of matrix completion. Furthermore, we use this connection to show matching lower bounds. Our main technical result is in characterizing the Rademacher complexity of the sequence of norms that arise in the sum-of-squares relaxations to the tensor nuclear norm. These results point to an interesting new direction: Can we explore computational vs. sample complexity tradeoffs through the sum-of-squares hierarchy?

Kothari, Pravesh K., Steurer, David

We develop efficient algorithms for estimating low-degree moments of unknown distributions in the presence of adversarial outliers. The guarantees of our algorithms improve in many cases significantly over the best previous ones, obtained in recent works of Diakonikolas et al, Lai et al, and Charikar et al. We also show that the guarantees of our algorithms match information-theoretic lower-bounds for the class of distributions we consider. These improved guarantees allow us to give improved algorithms for independent component analysis and learning mixtures of Gaussians in the presence of outliers. Our algorithms are based on a standard sum-of-squares relaxation of the following conceptually-simple optimization problem: Among all distributions whose moments are bounded in the same way as for the unknown distribution, find the one that is closest in statistical distance to the empirical distribution of the adversarially-corrupted sample.

Standard approaches to probabilistic reasoning require that one possesses an explicit model of the distribution in question. But, the empirical learning of models of probability distributions from partial observations is a problem for which efficient algorithms are generally not known. In this work we consider the use of bounded-degree fragments of the "sum-of-squares" logic as a probability logic. Prior work has shown that we can decide refutability for such fragments in polynomial-time. We propose to use such fragments to answer queries about whether a given probability distribution satisfies a given system of constraints and bounds on expected values. We show that in answering such queries, such constraints and bounds can be implicitly learned from partial observations in polynomial-time as well. It is known that this logic is capable of deriving many bounds that are useful in probabilistic analysis. We show here that it furthermore captures useful polynomial-time fragments of resolution. Thus, these fragments are also quite expressive.

Karmalkar, Sushrut, Klivans, Adam R., Kothari, Pravesh K.

We give the first polynomial-time algorithm for robust regression in the list-decodable setting where an adversary can corrupt a greater than $1/2$ fraction of examples. For any $\alpha < 1$, our algorithm takes as input a sample $\{(x_i,y_i)\}_{i \leq n}$ of $n$ linear equations where $\alpha n$ of the equations satisfy $y_i = \langle x_i,\ell^*\rangle +\zeta$ for some small noise $\zeta$ and $(1-\alpha)n$ of the equations are {\em arbitrarily} chosen. It outputs a list $L$ of size $O(1/\alpha)$ - a fixed constant - that contains an $\ell$ that is close to $\ell^*$. Our algorithm succeeds whenever the inliers are chosen from a \emph{certifiably} anti-concentrated distribution $D$. In particular, this gives a $(d/\alpha)^{O(1/\alpha^8)}$ time algorithm to find a $O(1/\alpha)$ size list when the inlier distribution is standard Gaussian. For discrete product distributions that are anti-concentrated only in \emph{regular} directions, we give an algorithm that achieves similar guarantee under the promise that $\ell^*$ has all coordinates of the same magnitude. To complement our result, we prove that the anti-concentration assumption on the inliers is information-theoretically necessary. Our algorithm is based on a new framework for list-decodable learning that strengthens the `identifiability to algorithms' paradigm based on the sum-of-squares method. In an independent and concurrent work, Raghavendra and Yau also used the Sum-of-Squares method to give a similar result for list-decodable regression.

Jaini, Priyank, Selby, Kira A., Yu, Yaoliang

Triangular map is a recent construct in probability theory that allows one to transform any source probability density function to any target density function. Based on triangular maps, we propose a general framework for high-dimensional density estimation, by specifying one-dimensional transformations (equivalently conditional densities) and appropriate conditioner networks. This framework (a) reveals the commonalities and differences of existing autoregressive and flow based methods, (b) allows a unified understanding of the limitations and representation power of these recent approaches and, (c) motivates us to uncover a new Sum-of-Squares (SOS) flow that is interpretable, universal, and easy to train. We perform several synthetic experiments on various density geometries to demonstrate the benefits (and short-comings) of such transformations. SOS flows achieve competitive results in simulations and several real-world datasets.