Sublinear Time Numerical Linear Algebra for Structured Matrices

12 Dec 2019  ·  Xiaofei Shi, David P. Woodruff ·

We show how to solve a number of problems in numerical linear algebra, such as least squares regression, $\ell_p$-regression for any $p \geq 1$, low rank approximation, and kernel regression, in time $T(A) \poly(\log(nd))$, where for a given input matrix $A \in \mathbb{R}^{n \times d}$, $T(A)$ is the time needed to compute $A\cdot y$ for an arbitrary vector $y \in \mathbb{R}^d$. Since $T(A) \leq O(\nnz(A))$, where $\nnz(A)$ denotes the number of non-zero entries of $A$, the time is no worse, up to polylogarithmic factors, as all of the recent advances for such problems that run in input-sparsity time. However, for many applications, $T(A)$ can be much smaller than $\nnz(A)$, yielding significantly sublinear time algorithms. For example, in the overconstrained $(1+\epsilon)$-approximate polynomial interpolation problem, $A$ is a Vandermonde matrix and $T(A) = O(n \log n)$; in this case our running time is $n \cdot \poly(\log n) + \poly(d/\epsilon)$ and we recover the results of \cite{avron2013sketching} as a special case. For overconstrained autoregression, which is a common problem arising in dynamical systems, $T(A) = O(n \log n)$, and we immediately obtain $n \cdot \poly(\log n) + \poly(d/\epsilon)$ time. For kernel autoregression, we significantly improve the running time of prior algorithms for general kernels. For the important case of autoregression with the polynomial kernel and arbitrary target vector $b\in\mathbb{R}^n$, we obtain even faster algorithms. Our algorithms show that, perhaps surprisingly, most of these optimization problems do not require much more time than that of a polylogarithmic number of matrix-vector multiplications.

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