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# Sketching the Support of a Probability Measure

*Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 33:257-265, 2014.

#### Abstract

We want to sketch the support of a probability measure on Euclidean space from samples that have been drawn from the measure. This problem is closely related to certain manifold learning problems, where one assumes that the sample points are drawn from a manifold that is embedded in Euclidean space. Here we propose to sketch the support of the probability measure (that does not need to be a manifold) by some gradient flow complex, or more precisely by its Hasse diagram. The gradient flow is defined with respect to the distance function to the sample points. We prove that a gradient flow complex (that can be computed) is homotopy equivalent to the support of the measure for sufficiently dense samplings, and demonstrate the feasibility of our approach on real world data sets.