A sharp NMF result with applications in network modeling

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Jiashun Jin


Given an $n \times n$ non-negative rank-$K$ matrix $\Omega$ where $m$ eigenvalues are negative, when can we write $\Omega = Z P Z'$ for non-negative matrices $Z \in \mathbb{R}^{n, K}$ and $P \in \mathbb{R}^{K, K}$? While most existing works focused on the case of $m = 0$, our primary interest is on the case of general $m$. With new proof ideas we develop, we present sharp results on when the NMF problem is solvable, which significantly extend existing results on this topic. The NMF problem is partially motivated by applications in network modeling. For a network with $K$ communities, rank-$K$ models are popular, with many proposals. The DCMM model is a recent rank-$K$ model which is especially useful and interpretable in practice. To enjoy such properties, it is of interest to study when a rank-$K$ model can be rewritten as a DCMM model. Using our NMF results, we show that for a rank-$K$ model with parameters in the most interesting range, we can always rewrite it as a DCMM model.