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# Minimax Rates of Estimation for Sparse PCA in High Dimensions

*Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 22:1278-1286, 2012.

#### Abstract

We study sparse principal components analysis in the high-dimensional setting, where p (the number of variables) can be much larger than n (the number of observations). We prove optimal minimax lower and upper bounds on the estimation error for the first leading eigenvector when it belongs to an \ell_q ball for q ∈[0,1]. Our bounds are tight in p and n for all q ∈[0, 1] over a wide class of distributions. The upper bound is obtained by analyzing the performance of \ell_q-constrained PCA. In particular, our results provide convergence rates for \ell_1-constrained PCA. Our methods and arguments are also extendable to multi-dimensional subspace estimation.