Robust Gaussian Covariance Estimation in Nearly-Matrix Multiplication Time

23 Jun 2020Jerry LiGuanghao Ye

Robust covariance estimation is the following, well-studied problem in high dimensional statistics: given $N$ samples from a $d$-dimensional Gaussian $\mathcal{N}(\boldsymbol{0}, \Sigma)$, but where an $\varepsilon$-fraction of the samples have been arbitrarily corrupted, output $\widehat{\Sigma}$ minimizing the total variation distance between $\mathcal{N}(\boldsymbol{0}, \Sigma)$ and $\mathcal{N}(\boldsymbol{0}, \widehat{\Sigma})$. This corresponds to learning $\Sigma$ in a natural affine-invariant variant of the Frobenius norm known as the \emph{Mahalanobis norm}... (read more)

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