Generalized Concomitant Multi-Task Lasso for sparse multimodal regression

27 May 2017  ·  Mathurin Massias, Olivier Fercoq, Alexandre Gramfort, Joseph Salmon ·

In high dimension, it is customary to consider Lasso-type estimators to enforce sparsity. For standard Lasso theory to hold, the regularization parameter should be proportional to the noise level, yet the latter is generally unknown in practice. A possible remedy is to consider estimators, such as the Concomitant/Scaled Lasso, which jointly optimize over the regression coefficients as well as over the noise level, making the choice of the regularization independent of the noise level. However, when data from different sources are pooled to increase sample size, or when dealing with multimodal datasets, noise levels typically differ and new dedicated estimators are needed. In this work we provide new statistical and computational solutions to deal with such heteroscedastic regression models, with an emphasis on functional brain imaging with combined magneto- and electroencephalographic (M/EEG) signals. Adopting the formulation of Concomitant Lasso-type estimators, we propose a jointly convex formulation to estimate both the regression coefficients and the (square root of the) noise covariance. When our framework is instantiated to de-correlated noise, it leads to an efficient algorithm whose computational cost is not higher than for the Lasso and Concomitant Lasso, while addressing more complex noise structures. Numerical experiments demonstrate that our estimator yields improved prediction and support identification while correctly estimating the noise (square root) covariance. Results on multimodal neuroimaging problems with M/EEG data are also reported.

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