Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

*Ji Liu, Peter Wonka, Jieping Ye*

We consider the following sparse signal recovery (or feature selection) problem: given a design matrix $X\in \mathbb{R}^{n\times m}$ $(m\gg n)$ and a noisy observation vector $y\in \mathbb{R}^{n}$ satisfying $y=X\beta^*+\epsilon$ where $\epsilon$ is the noise vector following a Gaussian distribution $N(0,\sigma^2I)$, how to recover the signal (or parameter vector) $\beta^*$ when the signal is sparse? The Dantzig selector has been proposed for sparse signal recovery with strong theoretical guarantees. In this paper, we propose a multi-stage Dantzig selector method, which iteratively refines the target signal $\beta^*$. We show that if $X$ obeys a certain condition, then with a large probability the difference between the solution $\hat\beta$ estimated by the proposed method and the true solution $\beta^*$ measured in terms of the $l_p$ norm ($p\geq 1$) is bounded as \begin{equation*} \|\hat\beta-\beta^*\|_p\leq \left(C(s-N)^{1/p}\sqrt{\log m}+\Delta\right)\sigma, \end{equation*} $C$ is a constant, $s$ is the number of nonzero entries in $\beta^*$, $\Delta$ is independent of $m$ and is much smaller than the first term, and $N$ is the number of entries of $\beta^*$ larger than a certain value in the order of $\mathcal{O}(\sigma\sqrt{\log m})$. The proposed method improves the estimation bound of the standard Dantzig selector approximately from $Cs^{1/p}\sqrt{\log m}\sigma$ to $C(s-N)^{1/p}\sqrt{\log m}\sigma$ where the value $N$ depends on the number of large entries in $\beta^*$. When $N=s$, the proposed algorithm achieves the oracle solution with a high probability. In addition, with a large probability, the proposed method can select the same number of correct features under a milder condition than the Dantzig selector.

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