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Imbalanced Mixed Linear Regression

Pini Zilber · Boaz Nadler

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1204
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[ Paper [ Poster [ OpenReview
Wed 13 Dec 8:45 a.m. PST — 10:45 a.m. PST

Abstract: We consider the problem of mixed linear regression (MLR), where each observed sample belongs to one of $K$ unknown linear models. In practical applications, the mixture of the $K$ models may be imbalanced with a significantly different number of samples from each model. Unfortunately, most MLR methods do not perform well in such settings. Motivated by this practical challenge, in this work we propose Mix-IRLS, a novel, simple and fast algorithm for MLR with excellent performance on both balanced and imbalanced mixtures.In contrast to popular approaches that recover the $K$ models simultaneously, Mix-IRLS does it sequentially using tools from robust regression. Empirically, beyond imbalanced mixtures, Mix-IRLS succeeds in a broad range of additional settings where other methods fail, including small sample sizes, presence of outliers, and an unknown number of models $K$. Furthermore, Mix-IRLS outperforms competing methods on several real-world datasets, in some cases by a large margin. We complement our empirical results by deriving a recovery guarantee for Mix-IRLS, which highlights its advantage on imbalanced mixtures.

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