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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 7, 2024
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    We study the search problem class PPA_q defined as a modulo-q analog of the well-known polynomial parity argument class PPA introduced by Papadimitriou (JCSS 1994). Our first result shows that this class can be characterized in terms of PPA_p for prime p. Our main result is to establish that an explicit version of a search problem associated to the Chevalley - Warning theorem is complete for PPA_p for prime p. This problem is natural in that it does not explicitly involve circuits as part of the input. It is the first such complete problem for PPA_p when p ≥ 3. Finally we discuss connections between Chevalley-Warning theorem and the well-studied short integer solution problem and survey the structural properties of PPA_q. 
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  5. We provide a computationally and statistically efficient estimator for the classical problem of trun-cated linear regression, where the dependent variabley=wTx+εand its corresponding vector ofcovariatesx∈Rkare only revealed if the dependent variable falls in some subsetS⊆R; otherwisethe existence of the pair(x,y)is hidden. This problem has remained a challenge since the earlyworks of Tobin (1958); Amemiya (1973); Hausman and Wise (1977); Breen et al. (1996), its appli-cations are abundant, and its history dates back even further to the work of Galton, Pearson, Lee,and Fisher Galton (1897); Pearson and Lee (1908); Lee (1914); Fisher (1931). While consistent es-timators of the regression coefficients have been identified, the error rates are not well-understood,especially in high-dimensional settings.Under a “thickness assumption” about the covariance matrix of the covariates in the revealed sample, we provide a computationally efficient estimator for the coefficient vectorwfromnre-vealed samples that attains`2errorO(√k/n), recovering the guarantees of least squares in thestandard (untruncated) linear regression setting. Our estimator uses Projected Stochastic Gradi-ent Descent (PSGD) on the negative log-likelihood of the truncated sample, and only needs ora-cle access to the setS, which may otherwise be arbitrary, and in particular may be non-convex.PSGD must be restricted to an appropriately defined convex cone to guarantee that the negativelog-likelihood is strongly convex, which in turn is established using concentration of matrices onvariables with sub-exponential tails. We perform experiments on simulated data to illustrate the accuracy of our estimator.As a corollary of our work, we show that SGD provably learns the parameters of single-layerneural networks with noisy Relu activation functions Nair and Hinton (2010); Bengio et al. (2013);Gulcehre et al. (2016), given linearly many, in the number of network parameters, input-outputpairs in the realizable setting. 
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  6. A wide range of learning tasks require human input in labeling massive data. The collected data though are usually low quality and contain inaccuracies and errors. As a result, modern science and business face the problem of learning from unreliable data sets. In this work, we provide a generic approach that is based on \textit{verification} of only few records of the data set to guarantee high quality learning outcomes for various optimization objectives. Our method, identifies small sets of critical records and verifies their validity. We show that many problems only need poly(1/ε) verifications, to ensure that the output of the computation is at most a factor of (1±ε) away from the truth. For any given instance, we provide an \textit{instance optimal} solution that verifies the minimum possible number of records to approximately certify correctness. Then using this instance optimal formulation of the problem we prove our main result: “every function that satisfies some Lipschitz continuity condition can be certified with a small number of verifications”. We show that the required Lipschitz continuity condition is satisfied even by some NP-complete problems, which illustrates the generality and importance of this theorem. In case this certification step fails, an invalid record will be identified. Removing these records and repeating until success, guarantees that the result will be accurate and will depend only on the verified records. Surprisingly, as we show, for several computation tasks more efficient methods are possible. These methods always guarantee that the produced result is not affected by the invalid records, since any invalid record that affects the output will be detected and verified. 
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  7. Banach's fixed point theorem for contraction maps has been widely used to analyze the convergence of iterative methods in non-convex problems. It is a common experience, however, that iterative maps fail to be globally contracting under the natural metric in their domain, making the applicability of Banach's theorem limited. We explore how generally we can apply Banach's fixed point theorem to establish the convergence of iterative methods when pairing it with carefully designed metrics. Our first result is a strong converse of Banach's theorem, showing that it is a universal analysis tool for establishing global convergence of iterative methods to unique fixed points, and for bounding their convergence rate. In other words, we show that, whenever an iterative map globally converges to a unique fixed point, there exists a metric under which the iterative map is contracting and which can be used to bound the number of iterations until convergence. We illustrate our approach in the widely used power method, providing a new way of bounding its convergence rate through contraction arguments. We next consider the computational complexity of Banach's fixed point theorem. Making the proof of our converse theorem constructive, we show that computing a fixed point whose existence is guaranteed by Banach's fixed point theorem is CLS-complete. We thus provide the first natural complete problem for the class CLS, which was defined in [DP11] to capture the complexity of problems such as P-matrix LCP, computing KKT-points, and finding mixed Nash equilibria in congestion and network coordination games. 
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