## A Singular Value Thresholding Algorithm for Matrix Completion (2008)

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### BibTeX

@MISC{Cai08asingular,

author = {Jian-Feng Cai and Emmanuel J. Candès and Zuowei Shen},

title = {A Singular Value Thresholding Algorithm for Matrix Completion },

year = {2008}

}

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### Abstract

This paper introduces a novel algorithm to approximate the matrix with minimum nuclear norm among all matrices obeying a set of convex constraints. This problem may be understood as the convex relaxation of a rank minimization problem, and arises in many important applications as in the task of recovering a large matrix from a small subset of its entries (the famous Netflix problem). Off-the-shelf algorithms such as interior point methods are not directly amenable to large problems of this kind with over a million unknown entries. This paper develops a simple first-order and easy-to-implement algorithm that is extremely efficient at addressing problems in which the optimal solution has low rank. The algorithm is iterative and produces a sequence of matrices {X k, Y k} and at each step, mainly performs a soft-thresholding operation on the singular values of the matrix Y k. There are two remarkable features making this attractive for low-rank matrix completion problems. The first is that the soft-thresholding operation is applied to a sparse matrix; the second is that the rank of the iterates {X k} is empirically nondecreasing. Both these facts allow the algorithm to make use of very minimal storage space and keep the computational cost of each iteration low. On