Abstract:
We describe in this article a new code for evolving axisymmetric isolated systems in general relativity. Such systems are described by asymptotically flat space-times which have the property that they admit a conformal extension. We are working directly in the extended `conformal' manifold and solve numerically Friedrich's conformal field equations, which state that Einstein's equations hold in the physical space-time. Because of the compactness of the conformal space-time the entire space-time can be calculated on a finite numerical grid. We describe in detail the numerical scheme, especially the treatment of the axisymmetry and the boundary.

Abstract:
We discuss the temperature, frequency, and power-dependent surface resistance of the boride superconductor MgB2 in relation to possible applications for passive microwave devices. The data available in the literature are compared with results for polycrystalline Nb3Sn and epitaxial YBa2Cu3O7-x, which are representative of the classical and cuprate superconductors. MgB2 displays all specific features that make superconductors attractive for high-performance devices, even though the fabrication technology is not yet mature. We attempt to identify promising areas of applications, as well as material requirements, which could further promote the attractiveness of the new superconductor in this field.

Abstract:
We study the l^{p_1,...,p_m} singular value problem for non-negative tensors. We prove a general Perron-Frobenius theorem for weakly irreducible and irreducible nonnegative tensors and provide a Collatz-Wielandt characterization of the maximal singular value. Additionally, we propose a higher order power method for the computation of the maximal singular vectors and show that it has an asymptotic linear convergence rate.

Abstract:
Consider a random vector with finite second moments. If its precision matrix is an M-matrix, then all partial correlations are non-negative. If that random vector is additionally Gaussian, the corresponding Markov random field (GMRF) is called attractive. We study estimation of M-matrices taking the role of inverse second moment or precision matrices using sign-constrained log-determinant divergence minimization. We also treat the high-dimensional case with the number of variables exceeding the sample size. The additional sign-constraints turn out to greatly simplify the estimation problem: we provide evidence that explicit regularization is no longer required. To solve the resulting convex optimization problem, we propose an algorithm based on block coordinate descent, in which each sub-problem can be recast as non-negative least squares problem. Illustrations on both simulated and real world data are provided.

Abstract:
Least squares fitting is in general not useful for high-dimensional linear models, in which the number of predictors is of the same or even larger order of magnitude than the number of samples. Theory developed in recent years has coined a paradigm according to which sparsity-promoting regularization is regarded as a necessity in such setting. Deviating from this paradigm, we show that non-negativity constraints on the regression coefficients may be similarly effective as explicit regularization if the design matrix has additional properties, which are met in several applications of non-negative least squares (NNLS). We show that for these designs, the performance of NNLS with regard to prediction and estimation is comparable to that of the lasso. We argue further that in specific cases, NNLS may have a better $\ell_{\infty}$-rate in estimation and hence also advantages with respect to support recovery when combined with thresholding. From a practical point of view, NNLS does not depend on a regularization parameter and is hence easier to use.

Abstract:
Many problems in machine learning and statistics can be formulated as (generalized) eigenproblems. In terms of the associated optimization problem, computing linear eigenvectors amounts to finding critical points of a quadratic function subject to quadratic constraints. In this paper we show that a certain class of constrained optimization problems with nonquadratic objective and constraints can be understood as nonlinear eigenproblems. We derive a generalization of the inverse power method which is guaranteed to converge to a nonlinear eigenvector. We apply the inverse power method to 1-spectral clustering and sparse PCA which can naturally be formulated as nonlinear eigenproblems. In both applications we achieve state-of-the-art results in terms of solution quality and runtime. Moving beyond the standard eigenproblem should be useful also in many other applications and our inverse power method can be easily adapted to new problems.

Abstract:
An important form of prior information in clustering comes in form of cannot-link and must-link constraints. We present a generalization of the popular spectral clustering technique which integrates such constraints. Motivated by the recently proposed $1$-spectral clustering for the unconstrained problem, our method is based on a tight relaxation of the constrained normalized cut into a continuous optimization problem. Opposite to all other methods which have been suggested for constrained spectral clustering, we can always guarantee to satisfy all constraints. Moreover, our soft formulation allows to optimize a trade-off between normalized cut and the number of violated constraints. An efficient implementation is provided which scales to large datasets. We outperform consistently all other proposed methods in the experiments.

Abstract:
It has been recently shown that a large class of balanced graph cuts allows for an exact relaxation into a nonlinear eigenproblem. We review briefly some of these results and propose a family of algorithms to compute nonlinear eigenvectors which encompasses previous work as special cases. We provide a detailed analysis of the properties and the convergence behavior of these algorithms and then discuss their application in the area of balanced graph cuts.

Abstract:
In order to push the performance on realistic computer vision tasks, the number of classes in modern benchmark datasets has significantly increased in recent years. This increase in the number of classes comes along with increased ambiguity between the class labels, raising the question if top-1 error is the right performance measure. In this paper, we provide an extensive comparison and evaluation of established multiclass methods comparing their top-k performance both from a practical as well as from a theoretical perspective. Moreover, we introduce novel top-k loss functions as modifications of the softmax and the multiclass SVM loss and provide efficient optimization schemes for them. In the experiments, we compare on various datasets all of the proposed and established methods for top-k error optimization. An interesting insight of this paper is that the softmax loss yields competitive top-k performance for all k simultaneously. For a specific top-k error, our new top-k losses lead typically to further improvements while being faster to train than the softmax.

Abstract:
We study the scenario of graph-based clustering algorithms such as spectral clustering. Given a set of data points, one first has to construct a graph on the data points and then apply a graph clustering algorithm to find a suitable partition of the graph. Our main question is if and how the construction of the graph (choice of the graph, choice of parameters, choice of weights) influences the outcome of the final clustering result. To this end we study the convergence of cluster quality measures such as the normalized cut or the Cheeger cut on various kinds of random geometric graphs as the sample size tends to infinity. It turns out that the limit values of the same objective function are systematically different on different types of graphs. This implies that clustering results systematically depend on the graph and can be very different for different types of graph. We provide examples to illustrate the implications on spectral clustering.