Unified Scalable Equivalent Formulations for Schatten Quasi-Norms

The Schatten quasi-norm can be used to bridge the gap between the nuclear norm and rank function, and is the tighter approximation to matrix rank. However, most existing Schatten quasi-norm minimization (SQNM) algorithms, as well as for nuclear norm minimization, are too slow or even impractical for large-scale problems, due to the SVD or EVD of the whole matrix in each iteration. In this paper, we rigorously prove that for any p, p1, p2>0 satisfying 1/p=1/p1+1/p2, the Schatten-p quasi-norm of any matrix is equivalent to minimizing the product of the Schatten-p1 norm (or quasi-norm) and Schatten-p2 norm (or quasi-norm) of its two factor matrices. Then we present and prove the equivalence relationship between the product formula of the Schatten quasi-norm and its weighted sum formula for the two cases of p1 and p2: p1=p2 and p1≠ p2. In particular, when p>1/2, there is an equivalence between the Schatten-p quasi-norm of any matrix and the Schatten-2p norms of its two factor matrices, where the widely used equivalent formulation of the nuclear norm can be viewed as a special case. That is, various SQNM problems with p>1/2 can be transformed into the one only involving smooth, convex norms of two factor matrices, which can lead to simpler and more efficient algorithms than conventional methods. We further extend the theoretical results of two factor matrices to the cases of three and more factor matrices, from which we can see that for any 0<p<1, the Schatten-p quasi-norm of any matrix is the minimization of the mean of the Schatten-(p3+1)p norms of all factor matrices, where p3 denotes the largest integer not exceeding 1/p. In other words, for any 0<p<1, the SQNM problem can be transformed into an optimization problem only involving the smooth, convex norms of multiple factor matrices.

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