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Elementary Symmetric Polynomials for Optimal Experimental Design
Zelda Mariet · Suvrit Sra

Tue Dec 05 06:30 PM -- 10:30 PM (PST) @ Pacific Ballroom #6

We revisit the classical problem of optimal experimental design (OED) under a new mathematical model grounded in a geometric motivation. Specifically, we introduce models based on elementary symmetric polynomials; these polynomials capture "partial volumes" and offer a graded interpolation between the widely used A-optimal and D-optimal design models, obtaining each of them as special cases. We analyze properties of our models, and derive both greedy and convex-relaxation algorithms for computing the associated designs. Our analysis establishes approximation guarantees on these algorithms, while our empirical results substantiate our claims and demonstrate a curious phenomenon concerning our greedy algorithm. Finally, as a byproduct, we obtain new results on the theory of elementary symmetric polynomials that may be of independent interest.

Author Information

Zelda Mariet (MIT)
Suvrit Sra (MIT)

Suvrit Sra is a Research Faculty at the Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems (LIDS) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He obtained his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007. Before moving to MIT, he was a Senior Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems, in Tübingen, Germany. He has also held visiting faculty positions at UC Berkeley (EECS) and Carnegie Mellon University (Machine Learning Department) during 2013-2014. His research is dedicated to bridging a number of mathematical areas such as metric geometry, matrix analysis, convex analysis, probability theory, and optimization with machine learning; more broadly, his work involves algorithmically grounded topics within engineering and science. He has been a co-chair for OPT2008-2015, NIPS workshops on "Optimization for Machine Learning," and has also edited a volume of the same name (MIT Press, 2011).

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