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  1. We study a noisy tensor completion problem of broad practical interest, namely, the reconstruction of a low-rank tensor from highly incomplete and randomly corrupted observations of its entries. Whereas a variety of prior work has been dedicated to this problem, prior algorithms either are computationally too expensive for large-scale applications or come with suboptimal statistical guarantees. Focusing on “incoherent” and well-conditioned tensors of a constant canonical polyadic rank, we propose a two-stage nonconvex algorithm—(vanilla) gradient descent following a rough initialization—that achieves the best of both worlds. Specifically, the proposed nonconvex algorithm faithfully completes the tensor and retrieves all individual tensor factors within nearly linear time, while at the same time enjoying near-optimal statistical guarantees (i.e., minimal sample complexity and optimal estimation accuracy). The estimation errors are evenly spread out across all entries, thus achieving optimal [Formula: see text] statistical accuracy. We also discuss how to extend our approach to accommodate asymmetric tensors. The insight conveyed through our analysis of nonconvex optimization might have implications for other tensor estimation problems. 
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  8. Noisy matrix completion aims at estimating a low-rank matrix given only partial and corrupted entries. Despite remarkable progress in designing efficient estimation algorithms, it remains largely unclear how to assess the uncertainty of the obtained estimates and how to perform efficient statistical inference on the unknown matrix (e.g., constructing a valid and short confidence interval for an unseen entry). This paper takes a substantial step toward addressing such tasks. We develop a simple procedure to compensate for the bias of the widely used convex and nonconvex estimators. The resulting debiased estimators admit nearly precise nonasymptotic distributional characterizations, which in turn enable optimal construction of confidence intervals/regions for, say, the missing entries and the low-rank factors. Our inferential procedures do not require sample splitting, thus avoiding unnecessary loss of data efficiency. As a byproduct, we obtain a sharp characterization of the estimation accuracy of our debiased estimators in both rate and constant. Our debiased estimators are tractable algorithms that provably achieve full statistical efficiency. 
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