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Dual Principal Component Pursuit

Manolis C. Tsakiris, RenĂ© Vidal; 19(18):1−50, 2018.


We consider the problem of learning a linear subspace from data corrupted by outliers. Classical approaches are typically designed for the case in which the subspace dimension is small relative to the ambient dimension. Our approach works with a dual representation of the subspace and hence aims to find its orthogonal complement; as such, it is particularly suitable for subspaces whose dimension is close to the ambient dimension (subspaces of high relative dimension). We pose the problem of computing normal vectors to the inlier subspace as a non-convex $\ell_1$ minimization problem on the sphere, which we call Dual Principal Component Pursuit (DPCP) problem. We provide theoretical guarantees under which every global solution to DPCP is a vector in the orthogonal complement of the inlier subspace. Moreover, we relax the non-convex DPCP problem to a recursion of linear programs whose solutions are shown to converge in a finite number of steps to a vector orthogonal to the subspace. In particular, when the inlier subspace is a hyperplane, the solutions to the recursion of linear programs converge to the global minimum of the non-convex DPCP problem in a finite number of steps. We also propose algorithms based on alternating minimization and iteratively re-weighted least squares, which are suitable for dealing with large-scale data. Experiments on synthetic data show that the proposed methods are able to handle more outliers and higher relative dimensions than current state-of-the-art methods, while experiments in the context of the three-view geometry problem in computer vision suggest that the proposed methods can be a useful or even superior alternative to traditional RANSAC-based approaches for computer vision and other applications.

© JMLR 2018.