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Workshop
Spectral Algorithms for Latent Variable Models
Ankur P Parikh · Le Song · Eric Xing

Fri Dec 07:30 AM -- 06:30 PM PST @ Tahoe B, Harrah’s Special Events Center 2nd Floor

Website: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~apparikh/nips2012spectral/main.html

Recently, linear algebra techniques have given a fundamentally
different perspective for learning and inference in latent variable
models. Exploiting the underlying spectral properties of the model
parameters has led to fast, provably consistent methods for structure and parameter learning that stand in contrast to previous approaches, such as Expectation Maximization, which suffer from local optima and slow convergence. Furthermore, these techniques have given insight into the nature of latent variable models.

In this workshop, via a mix of invited talks, contributed posters, and discussion, we seek to explore the theoretical and applied aspects of spectral methods including the following major themes:

(1) How can spectral techniques help us develop fast and local minima
free solutions to real world problems involving latent variables in
natural language processing, dynamical systems, computer vision etc. where existing methods such as Expectation Maximization are unsatisfactory?

(2) How can these approaches lead to a deeper understanding and interpretation of the complexity of latent variable models?

Author Information

Ankur P Parikh (Carnegie Mellon)
Le Song (Ant Financial & Georgia Institute of Technology)
Eric Xing (Petuum Inc. / Carnegie Mellon University)

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