STA/BST 290 Seminar: James Sharpnack

STA / BST 290 Seminar Series

Tuesday, January 20, 4:10pm, MSB 1147 (Colloquium Room)
Refreshments at 3:30pm in MSB 4110 (Statistics Lounge)

Speaker: James Sharpnack (University of California, San Diego)

Title: Testing for Structured Normal Means

Abstract: We will discuss the detection of pattern in images and graphs from a high-dimensional Gaussian measurement. This problem is relevant to many applications including detecting anomalies in sensor and computer networks, large-scale surveillance, co-expressions in gene networks, disease outbreaks, etc. Beyond its wide applicability, structured normal means detection serves as a case study in the difficulty of balancing computational complexity with statistical power. We will begin by discussing the detection of active rectangles in images and sensor grids. We will develop an adaptive scan test and determine it's asymptotic distribution. We propose an approximate algorithm that runs in nearly linear time but achieves the same asymptotic distribution as the naive, quadratic run-time algorithm.

We will move on to the more general problem of detecting a well-connected active subgraph within a graph in the normal means context. Because the generalized likelihood ratio test is computationally infeasible we propose approximate algorithms and study their statistical efficiency. One such algorithm that we develop is the graph Fourier scan statistic, whose statistical performance is characterized by the spectrum of the graph Laplacian. Another relaxation that we have developed is the Lovasz extended scan statistic (LESS), which is based on submodular optimization and the performance is described using electrical network theory. We also introduce the spanning tree wavelet basis over graphs, a localized basis that reflects the topology of the graph. For each of these tests we compare their statistical guarantees to an information theoretic lower bound.