IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Fast computation of robust subspace estimators


  • Cevallos-Valdiviezo, Holger
  • Van Aelst, Stefan


Dimension reduction is often an important step in the analysis of high-dimensional data. PCA is a popular technique to find the best low-dimensional approximation of high-dimensional data. However, classical PCA is very sensitive to atypical data. Robust methods to estimate the low-dimensional subspace that best approximates the regular data have been proposed. However, for high-dimensional data these algorithms become computationally expensive. Alternative algorithms for the robust subspace estimators are proposed that are better suited to compute the solution for high-dimensional problems. The main ingredients of the new algorithms are twofold. First, the principal directions of the subspace are estimated directly by iterating the first order solutions corresponding to the estimators. Second, to reduce the computation time even further five robust deterministic values are proposed to initialize the algorithms instead of using random starting values. It is shown that the new algorithms yield robust solutions and the computation time is largely reduced, especially for high-dimensional data.

Suggested Citation

  • Cevallos-Valdiviezo, Holger & Van Aelst, Stefan, 2019. "Fast computation of robust subspace estimators," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 171-185.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:csdana:v:134:y:2019:i:c:p:171-185
    DOI: 10.1016/j.csda.2018.12.013

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:bla:jorssc:v:29:y:1980:i:3:p:231-237 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Graciela Boente & Matías Salibian-Barrera, 2015. "S -Estimators for Functional Principal Component Analysis," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 110(511), pages 1100-1111, September.
    3. Eddelbuettel, Dirk & Sanderson, Conrad, 2014. "RcppArmadillo: Accelerating R with high-performance C++ linear algebra," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 1054-1063.
    4. Abul Naga, Ramses & Antille, Gerard, 1990. "Stability of robust and non-robust principal components analysis," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 169-174, October.
    5. Croux, Christophe & Ruiz-Gazen, Anne, 2005. "High breakdown estimators for principal components: the projection-pursuit approach revisited," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 206-226, July.
    6. N. Locantore & J. Marron & D. Simpson & N. Tripoli & J. Zhang & K. Cohen & Graciela Boente & Ricardo Fraiman & Babette Brumback & Christophe Croux & Jianqing Fan & Alois Kneip & John Marden & Daniel P, 1999. "Robust principal component analysis for functional data," TEST: An Official Journal of the Spanish Society of Statistics and Operations Research, Springer;Sociedad de Estadística e Investigación Operativa, vol. 8(1), pages 1-73, June.
    7. repec:taf:jnlasa:v:111:y:2016:i:514:p:763-771 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Todorov, Valentin & Filzmoser, Peter, 2009. "An Object-Oriented Framework for Robust Multivariate Analysis," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 32(i03).
    9. Salibian-Barrera, Matias & Van Aelst, Stefan & Willems, Gert, 2006. "Principal Components Analysis Based on Multivariate MM Estimators With Fast and Robust Bootstrap," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 101, pages 1198-1211, September.
    10. Serneels, Sven & Verdonck, Tim, 2008. "Principal component analysis for data containing outliers and missing elements," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 1712-1727, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:csdana:v:134:y:2019:i:c:p:171-185. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.