Testing Matrix Rank, Optimally

18 Oct 2018  ·  Maria-Florina Balcan, Yi Li, David P. Woodruff, Hongyang Zhang ·

We show that for the problem of testing if a matrix $A \in F^{n \times n}$ has rank at most $d$, or requires changing an $\epsilon$-fraction of entries to have rank at most $d$, there is a non-adaptive query algorithm making $\widetilde{O}(d^2/\epsilon)$ queries. Our algorithm works for any field $F$. This improves upon the previous $O(d^2/\epsilon^2)$ bound (SODA'03), and bypasses an $\Omega(d^2/\epsilon^2)$ lower bound of (KDD'14) which holds if the algorithm is required to read a submatrix. Our algorithm is the first such algorithm which does not read a submatrix, and instead reads a carefully selected non-adaptive pattern of entries in rows and columns of $A$. We complement our algorithm with a matching query complexity lower bound for non-adaptive testers over any field. We also give tight bounds of $\widetilde{\Theta}(d^2)$ queries in the sensing model for which query access comes in the form of $\langle X_i, A\rangle:=tr(X_i^\top A)$; perhaps surprisingly these bounds do not depend on $\epsilon$. We next develop a novel property testing framework for testing numerical properties of a real-valued matrix $A$ more generally, which includes the stable rank, Schatten-$p$ norms, and SVD entropy. Specifically, we propose a bounded entry model, where $A$ is required to have entries bounded by $1$ in absolute value. We give upper and lower bounds for a wide range of problems in this model, and discuss connections to the sensing model above.

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