Linear regression without correspondence

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 30 (NIPS 2017)

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Daniel J. Hsu, Kevin Shi, Xiaorui Sun


This article considers algorithmic and statistical aspects of linear regression when the correspondence between the covariates and the responses is unknown. First, a fully polynomial-time approximation scheme is given for the natural least squares optimization problem in any constant dimension. Next, in an average-case and noise-free setting where the responses exactly correspond to a linear function of i.i.d. draws from a standard multivariate normal distribution, an efficient algorithm based on lattice basis reduction is shown to exactly recover the unknown linear function in arbitrary dimension. Finally, lower bounds on the signal-to-noise ratio are established for approximate recovery of the unknown linear function by any estimator.