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Spectral and Optimization Techniques for Robust Recovery, Combinatorial Constructions, and Distributed Algorithms

Objective

In a recovery problem, we are interested in recovering structure from data that contains a mix of combinatorial structure and random noise. In a robust recovery problem, the data may contain adversarial perturbations as well. A series of recent results in theoretical computer science has led to algorithms based on the convex optimization technique of Semidefinite Programming for several recovery problems motivated by unsupervised machine learning. Can those algorithms be made robust? Sparsifiers are compressed representations of graphs that speed up certain algorithms. The recent proof of the Kadison-Singer conjecture by Marcus, Spielman and Srivastava (MSS) shows that certain kinds of sparsifiers exist, but the proof does not provide an explicit construction. Dynamics and population protocols are simple models of distributed computing that were introduced to study sensor networks and other lightweight distributed systems, and have also been used to model naturally occurring networks. What can and cannot be computed in such models is largely open. We propose an ambitious unifying approach to go beyond the state of the art in these three domains, and provide: robust recovery algorithms for the problems mentioned above; a new connection between sparsifiers and the Szemeredi Regularity Lemma and explicit constructions of the sparsifiers resulting from the MSS work; and an understanding of the ability of simple distributed algorithms to solve community detection problems and to deal with noise and faults. The unification is provided by a common underpinning of spectral methods, random matrix theory, and convex optimization. Such tools are used in technically similar but conceptually very different ways in the three domains. By pursuing these goals together, we will make it more likely that an idea that is natural and simple in one context will translate to an idea that is deep and unexpected in another, increasing the chances of a breakthrough.

Host institution

UNIVERSITA COMMERCIALE LUIGI BOCCONI

Address

Via Sarfatti 25
20136 Milano

Italy

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 1 971 805

Beneficiaries (1)

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UNIVERSITA COMMERCIALE LUIGI BOCCONI

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 1 971 805

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 834861

Status

Ongoing project

  • Start date

    1 September 2019

  • End date

    31 August 2024

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.1.

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 971 805

  • EU contribution

    € 1 971 805

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITA COMMERCIALE LUIGI BOCCONI

Italy