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# Learning Sparsely Used Overcomplete Dictionaries

*Proceedings of The 27th Conference on Learning Theory*, PMLR 35:123-137, 2014.

#### Abstract

We consider the problem of learning sparsely used overcomplete dictionaries, where each observation is a sparse combination of elements from an unknown overcomplete dictionary. We establish exact recovery when the dictionary elements are mutually incoherent. Our method consists of a clustering-based initialization step, which provides an approximate estimate of the true dictionary with guaranteed accuracy. This estimate is then refined via an iterative algorithm with the following alternating steps: 1) estimation of the dictionary coefficients for each observation through \ell_1 minimization, given the dictionary estimate, and 2) estimation of the dictionary elements through least squares, given the coefficient estimates. We establish that, under a set of sufficient conditions, our method converges at a linear rate to the true dictionary as well as the true coefficients for each observation.