Block Coordinate Descent for Sparse NMF

Vamsi Potluru, Sergey M. Plis, Jonathan Le Roux, Barak A. Pearlmutter, Vince D. Calhoun, Thomas P. Hayes

Jan 17, 2013 (modified: Jan 17, 2013) ICLR 2013 conference submission readers: everyone
  • Decision: conferencePoster-iclr2013-conference
  • Abstract: Nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) has become a ubiquitous tool for data analysis. An important variant is the sparse NMF problem which arises when we explicitly require the learnt features to be sparse. A natural measure of sparsity is the L$_0$ norm, however its optimization is NP-hard. Mixed norms, such as L$_1$/L$_2$ measure, have been shown to model sparsity robustly, based on intuitive attributes that such measures need to satisfy. This is in contrast to computationally cheaper alternatives such as the plain L$_1$ norm. However, present algorithms designed for optimizing the mixed norm L$_1$/L$_2$ are slow and other formulations for sparse NMF have been proposed such as those based on L$_1$ and L$_0$ norms. Our proposed algorithm allows us to solve the mixed norm sparsity constraints while not sacrificing computation time. We present experimental evidence on real-world datasets that shows our new algorithm performs an order of magnitude faster compared to the current state-of-the-art solvers optimizing the mixed norm and is suitable for large-scale datasets.