Advancing Matrix Completion by Modeling Extra Structures beyond Low-Rankness

Guangcan Liu, Ping Li

A well-known method for completing low-rank matrices based on convex optimization has been established by Cand{\`e}s and Recht. Although theoretically complete, the method may not entirely solve the low-rank matrix completion problem. This is because the method captures only the low-rankness property which gives merely a rough constraint that the data points locate on some low-dimensional subspace, but generally ignores the extra structures which specify in more detail how the data points locate on the subspace. Whenever the geometric distribution of the data points is not uniform, the coherence parameters of data might be large and, accordingly, the method might fail even if the latent matrix we want to recover is fairly low-rank. To better handle non-uniform data, in this paper we propose a method termed Low-Rank Factor Decomposition (LRFD), which imposes an additional restriction that the data points must be represented as linear combinations of the bases in a dictionary constructed or learnt in advance. We show that LRFD can well handle non-uniform data, provided that the dictionary is configured properly: We mathematically prove that if the dictionary itself is low-rank then LRFD is immune to the coherence parameters which might be large on non-uniform data. This provides an elementary principle for learning the dictionary in LRFD and, naturally, leads to a practical algorithm for advancing matrix completion. Extensive experiments on randomly generated matrices and motion datasets show encouraging results.

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