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[theory-seminar] Theory seminar tomorrow with Tengyu Ma!

Moses Charikar moses at
Thu Sep 1 01:11:01 PDT 2016

Tengyu will be around most of the day. If you would like to meet with him,
send him email to coordinate: tengyu at


On Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 2:31 PM, Gregory Valiant <gvaliant at>

> Hi Friends,
> Tomorrow will be our first theory seminar of the year, with Tengyu Ma
> from Princeton.
> Time/Location: THursday 9/1,  4pm Gates 463a.
> Title: Polynomial-time tensor decompositions with sum-of-squares
> Abstract:
> Tensor decompositions have been the key algorithmic components in
> provable learning of a wide range of hidden variable models such as
> topic models, Gaussian mixture models, independent component analysis,
> dictionary learning. One of the challenges in this area is to
> decompose over-complete low-order tensors robustly.
> In this talk I will present new algorithms based on the sum-of-squares
> method for tensor decomposition. Our results improve the best known
> running times from quasi-polynomial to polynomial for several
> problems, including decomposing random overcomplete 3-tensors and
> learning overcomplete dictionaries with constant relative sparsity. We
> also give the first robust analysis for decomposing overcomplete
> 4-tensors in the smoothed analysis model.
> A key ingredient of our analysis is to establish small spectral gaps
> in moment matrices derived from solutions to sum-of-squares
> relaxations. To enable this analysis we augment sum-of-squares
> relaxations with spectral analogs of maximum entropy constraints.
> Based on joint work with Jonathan Shi and David Steurer.
> --------
> Theory seminar calendar here:
> aflb/2015-16.html
> _______________________________________________
> theory-seminar mailing list
> theory-seminar at
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