Greedy Algorithms for Structurally Constrained High Dimensional Problems

A hallmark of modern machine learning is its ability to deal with high dimensional problems by exploiting structural assumptions that limit the degrees of freedom in the underlying model. A deep understanding of the capabilities and limits of high dimensional learning methods under specific assumptions such as sparsity, group sparsity, and low rank has been attained. Efforts (Negahban et al., 2010, Chandrasekaran et al., 2010} are now underway to distill this valuable experience by proposing general unified frameworks that can achieve the twin goals of summarizing previous analyses and enabling their application to notions of structure hitherto unexplored. Inspired by these developments, we propose and analyze a general computational scheme based on a greedy strategy to solve convex optimization problems that arise when dealing with structurally constrained high-dimensional problems. Our framework not only unifies existing greedy algorithms by recovering them as special cases but also yields novel ones. Finally, we extend our results to infinite dimensional problems by using interesting connections between smoothness of norms and behavior of martingales in Banach spaces.

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