Recent progress on scaling algorithms and applications

Ankit Garg, Rafael Oliveira, The Computational Complexity Column by V. Arvind


Scaling problems have a rich and diverse history, and thereby have found numerous applications in several elds of science and engineering. For instance, the matrix scaling problem has had applications ranging from theoretical computer science to telephone forecasting, economics, statistics, optimization, among many other elds. Recently, a generalization of matrix scaling known as operator scaling has found applications in non-commutative algebra, invariant theory, combinatorics and algebraic complexity; and a further generalization (tensor scaling) has found more applications in quantum information theory, geometric complexity theory and invariant theory.
In this survey, we will describe in detail the scaling problems mentioned above, showing how alternating minimization algorithms naturally arise in this setting, and we shall present a general framework to rigorously analyze such algorithms.
As this framework makes extensive use of concepts from invariant theory, we also provide a very gentle introduction to basic concepts of invariant theory and howthey are used to analyze alternating minimization algorithms for the scaling problems.
This survey is intended for a general computer science audience, and the only background required is basic knowledge of calculus and linear algebra, thereby making it accessible to graduate students and even to advanced undergraduates.

Full Text:



  • There are currently no refbacks.