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Creators/Authors contains: "Gao, Chao"

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  1. Abstract

    We fully characterize the nonasymptotic minimax separation rate for sparse signal detection in the Gaussian sequence model with $p$ equicorrelated observations, generalizing a result of Collier, Comminges and Tsybakov. As a consequence of the rate characterization, we find that strong correlation is a blessing, moderate correlation is a curse and weak correlation is irrelevant. Moreover, the threshold correlation level yielding a blessing exhibits phase transitions at the $\sqrt{p}$ and $p-\sqrt{p}$ sparsity levels. We also establish the emergence of new phase transitions in the minimax separation rate with a subtle dependence on the correlation level. Additionally, we study group structured correlations and derive the minimax separation rate in a model including multiple random effects. The group structure turns out to fundamentally change the detection problem from the equicorrelated case and different phenomena appear in the separation rate.

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  2. Abstract

    The Bradley–Terry–Luce (BTL) model is a benchmark model for pairwise comparisons between individuals. Despite recent progress on the first-order asymptotics of several popular procedures, the understanding of uncertainty quantification in the BTL model remains largely incomplete, especially when the underlying comparison graph is sparse. In this paper, we fill this gap by focusing on two estimators that have received much recent attention: the maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) and the spectral estimator. Using a unified proof strategy, we derive sharp and uniform non-asymptotic expansions for both estimators in the sparsest possible regime (up to some poly-logarithmic factors) of the underlying comparison graph. These expansions allow us to obtain: (i) finite-dimensional central limit theorems for both estimators; (ii) construction of confidence intervals for individual ranks; (iii) optimal constant of $\ell _2$ estimation, which is achieved by the MLE but not by the spectral estimator. Our proof is based on a self-consistent equation of the second-order remainder vector and a novel leave-two-out analysis.

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  3. Abstract

    We study the statistical estimation problem of orthogonal group synchronization and rotation group synchronization. The model is $Y_{ij} = Z_i^* Z_j^{*T} + \sigma W_{ij}\in{\mathbb{R}}^{d\times d}$ where $W_{ij}$ is a Gaussian random matrix and $Z_i^*$ is either an orthogonal matrix or a rotation matrix, and each $Y_{ij}$ is observed independently with probability $p$. We analyze an iterative polar decomposition algorithm for the estimation of $Z^*$ and show it has an error of $(1+o(1))\frac{\sigma ^2 d(d-1)}{2np}$ when initialized by spectral methods. A matching minimax lower bound is further established that leads to the optimality of the proposed algorithm as it achieves the exact minimax risk.

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