Expectile Matrix Factorization for Skewed Data Analysis

06/07/2016 ∙ by Rui Zhu, et al. ∙ 0

Matrix factorization is a popular approach to solving matrix estimation problems based on partial observations. Existing matrix factorization is based on least squares and aims to yield a low-rank matrix to interpret the conditional sample means given the observations. However, in many real applications with skewed and extreme data, least squares cannot explain their central tendency or tail distributions, yielding undesired estimates. In this paper, we propose expectile matrix factorization by introducing asymmetric least squares, a key concept in expectile regression analysis, into the matrix factorization framework. We propose an efficient algorithm to solve the new problem based on alternating minimization and quadratic programming. We prove that our algorithm converges to a global optimum and exactly recovers the true underlying low-rank matrices when noise is zero. For synthetic data with skewed noise and a real-world dataset containing web service response times, the proposed scheme achieves lower recovery errors than the existing matrix factorization method based on least squares in a wide range of settings.

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