Li, Yuanzhi, Liang, Yingyu, Risteski, Andrej

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.

Degleris, Anthony, Gillis, Nicolas

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.

Shen, Bin, Si, Luo, Ji, Rongrong, Liu, Baodi

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.

Li, Yuanzhi, Liang, Yingyu, Risteski, Andrej

Degleris, Anthony, Antin, Ben, Ganguli, Surya, Williams, Alex H

Identifying recurring patterns in high-dimensional time series data is an important problem in many scientific domains. A popular model to achieve this is convolutive nonnegative matrix factorization (CNMF), which extends classic nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) to extract short-lived temporal motifs from a long time series. Prior work has typically fit this model by multiplicative parameter updates---an approach widely considered to be suboptimal for NMF, especially in large-scale data applications. Here, we describe how to extend two popular and computationally scalable NMF algorithms---Hierarchical Alternating Least Squares (HALS) and Alternatining Nonnegative Least Squares (ANLS)---for the CNMF model. Both methods demonstrate performance advantages over multiplicative updates on large-scale synthetic and real world data.