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  1. In this paper, we develop a novel procedure for low-rank tensor regression, namely Importance Sketching Low-rank Estimation for Tensors (ISLET). The central idea behind ISLET is importance sketching, i.e., carefully designed sketches based on both the responses and low-dimensional structure of the parameter of interest. We show that the proposed method is sharply minimax optimal in terms of the mean-squared error under low-rank Tucker assumptions and under the randomized Gaussian ensemble design. In addition, if a tensor is low-rank with group sparsity, our procedure also achieves minimax optimality. Further, we show through numerical study that ISLET achieves comparable or better mean-squared error performance to existing state-of-the-art methods while having substantial storage and run-time advantages including capabilities for parallel and distributed computing. In particular, our procedure performs reliable estimation with tensors of dimension $p = O(10^8)$ and is 1 or 2 orders of magnitude faster than baseline methods.
  2. Stochastic gradient descent (SGD) and its variants have established themselves as the go-to algorithms for large-scale machine learning problems with independent samples due to their generalization performance and intrinsic computational advantage. However, the fact that the stochastic gradient is a biased estimator of the full gradient with correlated samples has led to the lack of theoretical understanding of how SGD behaves under correlated settings and hindered its use in such cases. In this paper, we focus on the Gaussian process (GP) and take a step forward towards breaking the barrier by proving minibatch SGD converges to a critical point of the full loss function, and recovers model hyperparameters with rate O(1/K) up to a statistical error term depending on the minibatch size. Numerical studies on both simulated and real datasets demonstrate that minibatch SGD has better generalization over state-of-the-art GP methods while reducing the computational burden and opening a new, previously unexplored, data size regime for GPs.