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Han Liu, Princeton University

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Combinatorial Inference
24 August 2017 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
201 Thomas Building
Contact Name
Lorey Burghard
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We propose a new family of combinatorial inference problems for graphical models. Unlike classical statistical inference where the main interest is point estimation or parameter testing of Euclidean parameters, combinatorial inference aims at testing the global structure of the underlying graph. Examples include testing the graph connectivity, the presence of a cycle of certain size, or the maximum degree of the graph. To begin with, we develop a unified theory for the fundamental limits of a large family of combinatorial inference problems. We propose new structural packing entropies to characterize how the complexity of combinatorial graph structures impacts the corresponding minimax lower bounds. On the other hand, we propose a family of practical structural testing algorithms to match the obtained lower bounds. We use a case study of brain network analysis to illustrate the usefulness of these proposed methods.


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