# The Bethe and Sinkhorn Permanents of Low Rank Matrices and Implications for Profile Maximum Likelihood

6 Apr 2020Nima AnariMoses CharikarKirankumar ShiragurAaron Sidford

In this paper we consider the problem of computing the likelihood of the profile of a discrete distribution, i.e., the probability of observing the multiset of element frequencies, and computing a profile maximum likelihood (PML) distribution, i.e., a distribution with the maximum profile likelihood. For each problem we provide polynomial time algorithms that given $n$ i.i.d.\ samples from a discrete distribution, achieve an approximation factor of $\exp\left(-O(\sqrt{n} \log n) \right)$, improving upon the previous best-known bound achievable in polynomial time of $\exp(-O(n^{2/3} \log n))$ (Charikar, Shiragur and Sidford, 2019)... (read more)

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