Non-Gaussian Component Analysis using Entropy Methods.
Non-Gaussian component analysis (NGCA) is a problem in multidimensional data analysis. Since its formulation in 2006, NGCA has attracted considerable attention in statistics and machine learning. In this problem, we have a random variable $X$ in $n$-dimensional Euclidean space. There is an unknown subspace $U$ of the $n$-dimensional Euclidean space such that the orthogonal projection of $X$ onto $U$ is standard multidimensional Gaussian and the orthogonal projection of $X$ onto $V$, the orthogonal complement of $U$, is non-Gaussian, in the sense that all its one-dimensional marginals are different from the Gaussian in a certain metric defined in terms of moments. The NGCA problem is to approximate the non-Gaussian subspace $V$ given samples of $X$.
Vectors in $V$ corresponds to "interesting" directions, whereas vectors in $U$ correspond to the directions where data is very noisy. The most interesting applications of the NGCA model is for the case when the magnitude of the noise is comparable to that of the true signal, a setting in which traditional noise reduction techniques such as PCA don't apply directly. NGCA is also related to dimensionality reduction and to other data analysis problems such as ICA. NGCA-like problems have been studied in statistics for a long time using techniques such as projection pursuit.
We give an algorithm that takes polynomial time in the dimension $n$ and has an inverse polynomial dependence on the error parameter measuring the angle distance between the non-Gaussian subspace and the subspace output by the algorithm. Our algorithm is based on relative entropy as the contrast function and fits under the projection pursuit framework. The techniques we develop for analyzing our algorithm maybe of use for other related problems.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1807.04936