Learning Gaussian mixtures with algebraic structure

Stochastics Seminar
Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 3:30pm for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Victor-Emmanuel Brunel – ENSAE/CREST
Cheng Mao

We will consider a model of mixtures of Gaussian distributions, called Multi-Reference Alignment, which has been motivated by imaging techniques in chemistry. In that model, the centers are all related with each other by the action of a (known) group of isometries. In other words, each observation is a noisy version of an isometric transformation of some fixed vector, where the isometric transformation is taken at random from some group of isometries and is not observed. Our goal is to learn that fixed vector, whose orbit by the action of the group determines the set of centers of the mixture. First, we will discuss the asymptotic performances of the maximum-likelihood estimator, exhibiting two scenarios that yield different rates. We will then move on to a non-asymptotic, minimax approach of the problem.