Support Recovery in Sparse PCA with Incomplete Data

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

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Hanbyul Lee, Qifan Song, Jean Honorio


We study a practical algorithm for sparse principal component analysis (PCA) of incomplete and noisy data.Our algorithm is based on the semidefinite program (SDP) relaxation of the non-convex $l_1$-regularized PCA problem.We provide theoretical and experimental evidence that SDP enables us to exactly recover the true support of the sparse leading eigenvector of the unknown true matrix, despite only observing an incomplete (missing uniformly at random) and noisy version of it.We derive sufficient conditions for exact recovery, which involve matrix incoherence, the spectral gap between the largest and second-largest eigenvalues, the observation probability and the noise variance.We validate our theoretical results with incomplete synthetic data, and show encouraging and meaningful results on a gene expression dataset.