Mathematical Programming Computation, Volume 12, Issue 3, September 2020

Robust Euclidean embedding via EDM optimization

Shenglong Zhou, Naihua Xiu, Hou-Duo Qi

This paper aims to propose an efficient numerical method for the most challenging problem known as the robust Euclidean embedding (REE) in the family of multi-dimensional scaling (MDS). The problem is notoriously known to be nonsmooth, nonconvex and its objective is non-Lipschitzian. We first explain that the semidefinite programming (SDP) relaxations and Euclidean distance matrix (EDM) approach, popular for other types of problems in the MDS family, failed to provide a viable method for this problem. We then propose a penalized REE (PREE), which can be economically majorized. We show that the majorized problem is convex provided that the penalty parameter is above certain threshold. Moreover, it has a closed-form solution, resulting in an efficient algorithm dubbed as PREEEDM (for Penalized REE via EDM optimization). We prove among others that PREEEDM converges to a stationary point of PREE, which is also an approximate critical point of REE. Finally, the efficiency of PREEEDM is compared with several state-of-the-art methods including SDP and EDM solvers on a large number of test problems from sensor network localization and molecular conformation.

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