Sparsity and Optimization -- some history and some questions


David Donoho

(Stanford University)

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Date: February 26, 2014


Sparsity-seeking and sparsity-exploiting algorithms have been very popular in signal and image processing in recent years.  I will review some of the earlier examples, such as blind deconvolution and superresolution, and transition to more recent ones such as dictionary learning and compressed sensing. Olshausen and Field had a landmark paper in the mid 90’s connecting one such sparsity-seeking algorithm and vision.  And after Barlow, it seems that sparsity-seeking algorithms would make a very good strategy for processing natural stimuli.  In general, it seems that the kind of nonlinear optimization algorithms that make for interesting ‘math papers’ do not connect with biological ideas.  I hope to provoke discussion.

Created: Friday, February 28th, 2014