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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  2. Naor, Joseph ; Buchbinder, Niv (Ed.)
  3. In the non-negative matrix factorization (NMF) problem, the input is an m×n matrix M with non-negative entries and the goal is to factorize it as M ≈ AW. The m × k matrix A and the k × n matrix W are both constrained to have non-negative entries. This is in contrast to singular value decomposition, where the matrices A and W can have negative entries but must satisfy the orthogonality constraint: the columns of A are orthogonal and the rows of W are also orthogonal. The orthogonal non-negative matrix factorization (ONMF) problem imposes both the non-negativity and the orthogonality constraints, and previous work showed that it leads to better performances than NMF on many clustering tasks. We give the first constant-factor approximation algorithm for ONMF when one or both of A and W are subject to the orthogonality constraint. We also show an interesting connection to the correlation clustering problem on bipartite graphs. Our experiments on synthetic and real-world data show that our algorithm achieves similar or smaller errors compared to previous ONMF algorithms while ensuring perfect orthogonality (many previous algorithms do not satisfy the hard orthogonality constraint).
  4. In this work, we show that for a nontrivial hypothesis class C, we can estimate the distance of a target function f to C (estimate the error rate of the best h∈C) using substantially fewer labeled examples than would be needed to actually {\em learn} a good h∈C. Specifically, we show that for the class C of unions of d intervals on the line, in the active learning setting in which we have access to a pool of unlabeled examples drawn from an arbitrary underlying distribution D, we can estimate the error rate of the best h∈C to an additive error ϵ with a number of label requests that is {\em independent of d} and depends only on ϵ. In particular, we make O((1/ϵ^6)log(1/ϵ)) label queries to an unlabeled pool of size O((d/ϵ^2)log(1/ϵ)). This task of estimating the distance of an unknown f to a given class C is called {\em tolerant testing} or {\em distance estimation} in the testing literature, usually studied in a membership query model and with respect to the uniform distribution. Our work extends that of Balcan et al. (2012) who solved the {\em non}-tolerant testing problem for this class (distinguishing the zero-error case from themore »case that the best hypothesis in the class has error greater than ϵ). We also consider the related problem of estimating the performance of a given learning algorithm A in this setting. That is, given a large pool of unlabeled examples drawn from distribution D, can we, from only a few label queries, estimate how well A would perform if the entire dataset were labeled and given as training data to A? We focus on k-Nearest Neighbor style algorithms, and also show how our results can be applied to the problem of hyperparameter tuning (selecting the best value of k for the given learning problem).« less