Global Guarantees for Blind Demodulation with Generative Priors

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Paul Hand, Babhru Joshi


We study a deep learning inspired formulation for the blind demodulation problem, which is the task of recovering two unknown vectors from their entrywise multiplication. We consider the case where the unknown vectors are in the range of known deep generative models, $\mathcal{G}^{(1)}:\mathbb{R}^n\rightarrow\mathbb{R}^\ell$ and $\mathcal{G}^{(2)}:\mathbb{R}^p\rightarrow\mathbb{R}^\ell$. In the case when the networks corresponding to the generative models are expansive, the weight matrices are random and the dimension of the unknown vectors satisfy $\ell = \Omega(n^2+p^2)$, up to log factors, we show that the empirical risk objective has a favorable landscape for optimization. That is, the objective function has a descent direction at every point outside of a small neighborhood around four hyperbolic curves. We also characterize the local maximizers of the empirical risk objective and, hence, show that there does not exist any other stationary points outside of these neighborhood around four hyperbolic curves and the set of local maximizers. We also implement a gradient descent scheme inspired by the geometry of the landscape of the objective function. In order to converge to a global minimizer, this gradient descent scheme exploits the fact that exactly one of the hyperbolic curve corresponds to the global minimizer, and thus points near this hyperbolic curve have a lower objective value than points close to the other spurious hyperbolic curves. We show that this gradient descent scheme can effectively remove distortions synthetically introduced to the MNIST dataset.