Statistics seminar – Xin Bing – Optimal vintage factor analysis with deflation varimax
Oct 31, 2023
3:30PM to 5:00PM
Date(s) - 31/10/2023
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: University Hall (UH) 112
Speaker: Xin Bing (University of Toronto)
Title: Optimal vintage factor analysis with deflation varimax
Abstract: Vintage factor analysis is one important type of factor analysis that aims to first find a low-dimensional representation of the original data, and then to seek a rotation such that the rotated low-dimensional representation is scientifically meaningful. Perhaps the most widely used vintage factor analysis is the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) followed by the varimax rotation. Despite its popularity, little theoretical guarantee can be provided mainly because varimax rotation requires to solve a non-convex optimization over the set of orthogonal matrices.
In this paper, we propose a deflation varimax procedure that solves each row of an orthogonal matrix sequentially. In addition to its net computational gain and flexibility, we are able to fully establish theoretical guarantees for the proposed procedure in a broad context. Adopting this new varimax approach as the second step after PCA, we further analyze this two-step procedure under a general class of factor models. Our results show that it estimates the factor loading matrix in the optimal rate when the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is moderate or large. In the low SNR regime, we offer possible improvement over using PCA and the deflation procedure when the additive noise under the factor model is structured. The modified procedure is shown to be optimal in all SNR regimes. Our theory is valid for finite samples and allows the number of the latent factors to grow with the sample size as well as the ambient dimension to grow with, or even exceed, the sample size. Extensive simulation and real data analysis further corroborate our theoretical findings.
Date/Time: Tuesday, October 31, 2023, 3.30-5 p.m. (refreshments at 3 in HH 216)
Speaker meet-up sign-up: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1SnSkWLy9RbCek3pkdU42p2bFXv5r9xTyGgmELvdKFEw/edit?usp=sharing.