Stable Principal Component Pursuit

14 Jan 2010  ·  Zihan Zhou, Xiaodong Li, John Wright, Emmanuel Candes, Yi Ma ·

In this paper, we study the problem of recovering a low-rank matrix (the principal components) from a high-dimensional data matrix despite both small entry-wise noise and gross sparse errors. Recently, it has been shown that a convex program, named Principal Component Pursuit (PCP), can recover the low-rank matrix when the data matrix is corrupted by gross sparse errors. We further prove that the solution to a related convex program (a relaxed PCP) gives an estimate of the low-rank matrix that is simultaneously stable to small entrywise noise and robust to gross sparse errors. More precisely, our result shows that the proposed convex program recovers the low-rank matrix even though a positive fraction of its entries are arbitrarily corrupted, with an error bound proportional to the noise level. We present simulation results to support our result and demonstrate that the new convex program accurately recovers the principal components (the low-rank matrix) under quite broad conditions. To our knowledge, this is the first result that shows the classical Principal Component Analysis (PCA), optimal for small i.i.d. noise, can be made robust to gross sparse errors; or the first that shows the newly proposed PCP can be made stable to small entry-wise perturbations.

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