Solve many kinds of least-squares and matrix-recovery problems
Author baggepinnen
18 Stars
Updated Last
1 Year Ago
Started In
September 2018

CI codecov


Solve (weighted or robust) total least-squares problems, impute missing data and robustly filter time series.

These functions are exported:


  • x = tls(A,y) Solves the standard TLS problem using the SVD method. An inplace version tls!(Ay, n) also exists, for this you need to supply Ay = [A y] and the width of A, n = size(A,2).
  • x = wtls(A,y,Qaa,Qay,Qyy,iters=10) Solves the weighted TLS problem using algorithm 1 from (Fang, 2013) The Q-matrices are the covariance matrices of the noise terms in vec(A) and y respectively.
  • Qaa,Qay,Qyy = rowcovariance(rowQ::AbstractVector{<:AbstractMatrix}) Takes row-wise covariance matrices QAy[i] and returns the full (sparse) covariance matrices. rowQ = [cov([A[i,:] y[i]]) for i = 1:length(y)]
  • x = wls(A,y,Qyy) Solves the weighted standard LS problem. Qyy is the covariance matrix of the residuals with side length equal to the length of y.
  • x = rtls(A,y) Solves a robust TLS problem. Both A and y are assumed to be corrupted with high magnitude, but sparse, noise. See analysis below.
  • x = irls(A,y; tolx=0.001, tol=1.0e-6, verbose=false, iters=100) minimizeₓ ||Ax-y||₁ using iteratively reweighted least squares.
  • x = sls(A,y; r = 1, iters = 100, verbose = false, tol = 1.0e-8) Simplex least-squares: minimizeₓ ||Ax-y||₂ s.t. sum(x) = r
  • x = flts(A,y; outlier = 0.5, N = 500, maxiter = 100, return_set = false, verbose = true) Fast least trimmed squares: Minimizing the sum of squared residuals by finding an outlier free subset among N initial subsets. Robust up to 50 % outlier.

Matrix recovery

  • Â, Ê, s, sv = rpca(D; kwargs...) robust matrix recovery using robust PCA. Solves minimize_{A,E} ||A||_* + λ||E||₁ s.t. D = A+E. Optionally force A or E to be non-negative.
  • Q = rpca_ga(X, r; kwargs...) robust PCA using Grassmann averages. Returns the principal components up to rank r.

Time-series filtering

  • yf = lowrankfilter(y, n; kwargs...) Filter time series y by forming a lag-embedding H of length n (a Hankel matrix) and using rpca to recover a low-rank matrix from which the a filtered signal yf can be extracted. Robustly filters large sparse outliers. See example notebook for more info.


using TotalLeastSquares, FillArrays, Random, Printf
x   = randn(3)
A   = randn(50,3)
σa  = 1
σy  = 0.01
An  = A + σa*randn(size(A))
y   = A*x
yn  = y + σy*randn(size(y))
Qaa = σa^2*Eye(prod(size(A)))
Qay = 0Eye(prod(size(A)),length(y))
Qyy = σy^2*Eye(prod(size(y)))

x̂ = An\yn
@printf "Least squares error: %25.3e %10.3e %10.3e, Norm: %10.3e\n" (x-x̂)... norm(x-x̂)

x̂ = wls(An,yn,Qyy)
@printf "Weighted Least squares error: %16.3e %10.3e %10.3e, Norm: %10.3e\n" (x-x̂)... norm(x-x̂)

x̂ = tls(An,yn)
@printf "Total Least squares error: %19.3e %10.3e %10.3e, Norm: %10.3e\n" (x-x̂)... norm(x-x̂)

x̂ = wtls(An,yn,Qaa,Qay,Qyy,iters=10)
@printf "Weighted Total Least squares error: %10.3e %10.3e %10.3e, Norm: %10.3e\n" (x-x̂)... norm(x-x̂)
Least squares error:                 3.753e-01  2.530e-01 -3.637e-01, Norm:  5.806e-01
Weighted Least squares error:        3.753e-01  2.530e-01 -3.637e-01, Norm:  5.806e-01
Total Least squares error:           2.897e-01  1.062e-01 -2.976e-01, Norm:  4.287e-01
Weighted Total Least squares error:  1.213e-01 -1.933e-01 -9.527e-02, Norm:  2.473e-01

Robust TLS analysis

The code for this analysis is here.

We generate random data on the form Ax=y where both A and y are corrupted with sparse noise, the entries in A are Gaussian random variables with unit variance and size(A) = (500,5). The plots below show the norm of the error in the estimated x as functions of the noise variance and the noise sparsity.

window window window

The results indicate that the robust method is to be preferred when the noise is large but sparse.

Missing data imputation

The robust methods handle missing data the same way as they handle outliers. You may indicate that an entry is missing simply by setting it to a very large value, e.g.,

N    = 500
y    = sin.(0.1 .* (1:N))   # Sinus
miss = rand(N) .< 0.1       # 10% missing values
yn   = y .+ miss .* 1e2 .+ 0.1*randn(N) # Set missing values to very large number and add noise
yf   = lowrankfilter(yn,40) # Filter
mean(abs2,y-yf)/mean(abs2,y) # Normalized error
# 0.001500 # Less than 1 percent error in the recovery of y

To impute missing data in a matrix, we make use of rpca:

H     = hankel(sin.(0.1 .* (1:N)), 5)         # A low-rank matrix
miss  = rand(size(H)...) .< 0.1               # 10% missing values
Hn    = H .+ 0.1randn(size(H)) .+ miss .* 1e2 # Set missing values to very large number
Ĥ, E  = rpca(Hn)
mean(abs2,H-Ĥ)/mean(abs2,H) # Normalized error
# 0.06 # Six percent error in the recovery of H

The matrix E contains the estimated outliers

vec(E)'vec(miss)/(norm(E)*norm(miss)) # These should correlate if all missing values were identified
# 1.00

Speeding up robust factorization

The function rpca internally performs several SVDs, which make up the bulk of the computation time. In order to speed this up, you may provide a custom svd function. An example using a randomized method from RandomizedLinAlg.jl:

using TotalLeastSquares, RandomizedLinAlg
lowrankfilter(x, L, svd = rsvd_fnkz, opnorm=x->rnorm(x,10)) # The same keywords are accepted by rpca

here, we provide both a randomized svd function as well as one for calculating the operator norm, which also takes a long time. Other alternative svd functions to consider are

  • RandomizedLinAlg.rsvd
  • TSVD.tsvd


This package was developed for the thesis
Bagge Carlson, F., "Machine Learning and System Identification for Estimation in Physical Systems" (PhD Thesis 2018).

  title        = {Machine Learning and System Identification for Estimation in Physical Systems},
  author       = {Bagge Carlson, Fredrik},
  keyword      = {Machine Learning,System Identification,Robotics,Spectral estimation,Calibration,State estimation},
  month        = {12},
  type         = {PhD Thesis},
  number       = {TFRT-1122},
  institution  = {Dept. Automatic Control, Lund University, Sweden},
  year         = {2018},
  url          = {},