Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Jacob, Mathews

First Committee Member

Xu, Weiyu

Second Committee Member

Dasgupta, Soura

Third Committee Member

Lingala, Sajan Goud

Fourth Committee Member

Thattaliyath, Bijoy


The presence of missing entries pose a hindrance to data analysis and interpretation. The missing entries may occur due to a variety of reasons such as sensor malfunction, limited acquisition time or unavailability of information. In this thesis, we present algorithms to analyze and complete data which contain several missing entries. We consider the recovery of a group of signals, given a few under-sampled and noisy measurements of each signal. This involves solving ill-posed inverse problems, since the number of available measurements are considerably fewer than the dimensionality of the signal that we aim to recover. In this work, we consider different data models to enable joint recovery of the signals from their measurements, as opposed to the independent recovery of each signal. This prior knowledge makes the inverse problems well-posed. While compressive sensing techniques have been proposed for low-rank or sparse models, such techniques have not been studied to the same extent for other models such as data appearing in clusters or lying on a low-dimensional manifold. In this work, we consider several data models arising in different applications, and present some theoretical guarantees for the joint reconstruction of the signals from few measurements. Our proposed techniques make use of fusion penalties, which are regularizers that promote solutions with similarity between certain pairs of signals.

The first model that we consider is that of points lying on a low-dimensional manifold, embedded in high dimensional ambient space. This model is apt for describing a collection of signals, each of which is a function of only a few parameters; the manifold dimension is equal to the number of parameters. We propose a technique to recover a series of such signals, given a few measurements for each signal. We demonstrate this in the context of dynamic Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) reconstruction, where only a few Fourier measurements are available for each time frame. A novel acquisition scheme enables us to detect the neighbours of each frame on the manifold. We then recover each frame by enforcing similarity with its neighbours. The proposed scheme is used to enable fast free-breathing cardiac and speech MRI scans.

Next, we consider the recovery of curves/surfaces from few sampled points. We model the curves as the zero-level set of a trigonometric polynomial, whose bandwidth controls the complexity of the curve. We present theoretical results for the minimum number of samples required to uniquely identify the curve. We show that the null-space vectors of high dimensional feature maps of these points can be used to recover the curve. The method is demonstrated on the recovery of the structure of DNA filaments from a few clicked points. This idea is then extended to recover data lying on a high-dimensional surface from few measurements. The formulated algorithm has similarities to our algorithm for recovering points on a manifold. Hence, we apply the above ideas to the cardiac MRI reconstruction problem, and are able to show better image quality with reduced computational complexity.

Finally, we consider the case where the data is organized into clusters. The goal is to recover the true clustering of the data, even when a few features of each data point is unknown. We propose a fusion-penalty based optimization problem to cluster data reliably in the presence of missing entries, and present theoretical guarantees for successful recovery of the correct clusters. We next propose a computationally efficient algorithm to solve a relaxation of this problem. We demonstrate that our algorithm reliably recovers the true clusters in the presence of large fractions of missing entries on simulated and real datasets.

This work thus results in several theoretical insights and solutions to different practical problems which involve reconstructing and analyzing data with missing entries. The fusion penalties that are used in each of the above models are obtained directly as a result of model assumptions. The proposed algorithms show very promising results on several real datasets, and we believe that they are general enough to be easily extended to several other practical applications.


Cardiac MRI, Clustering, Fusion penalties, Inverse problems


xviii, 135 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 127-135).


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Copyright © 2018 Sunrita Poddar