We study the problem of high-dimensional robust mean estimation in the presence of a constant fraction of adversarial outliers. A recent line of work has provided sophisticated polynomial-time algorithms for this problem with dimension-independent error guarantees for a range of natural distribution families. In this work, we show that a natural non-convex formulation of the problem can be solved directly by gradient descent. Our approach leverages a novel structural lemma, roughly showing that any approximate stationary point of our non-convex objective gives a near-optimal solution to the underlying robust estimation task. Our work establishes an intriguing connection between algorithmic high-dimensional robust statistics and non-convex optimization, which may have broader applications to other robust estimation tasks.
Inverting Deep Generative models, One layer at a time.
We study the problem of inverting a deep generative model with ReLU activations. Inversion corresponds to finding a latent code vector that explains observed measurements as much as possible. In most prior works this is performed by attempting to solve a non-convex optimization problem involving the generator. In this paper we obtain several novel theoretical results for the inversion problem. We show that for the realizable case, single layer inversion can be performed exactly in polynomial time, by solving a linear program. Further, we show that for multiple layers, inversion is NP-hard and the pre-image set can be non-convex. For generative models of arbitrary depth, we show that exact recovery is possible in polynomial time with high probability, if the layers are expanding and the weights are randomly selected. Very recent work analyzed the same problem for gradient descent inversion. Their analysis requires significantly higher expansion (logarithmic in the latent dimension) while our proposed algorithm can provably reconstruct even with constant factor expansion. We also provide provable error bounds for different norms for reconstructing noisy observations. Our empirical validation demonstrates that we obtain better reconstructions when the latent dimension is large.
- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Advances in neural information processing systems
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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