A hybrid penalty method for a class of optimization problems with multiple rank constraints

Tianxiang Liu, Ivan Markovsky, Ting Kei Pong, Akiko Takeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this paper, we consider the problem of minimizing a smooth objective over multiple rank constraints on Hankel-structured matrices. This kind of problems arises in system identification, system theory and signal processing, where the rank constraints are typically "hard constraints". To solve these problems, we propose a hybrid penalty method that combines a penalty method with a post-processing scheme. Specifically, we solve the penalty subproblems until the penalty parameter reaches a given threshold, and then switch to a local alternating "pseudo-projection'' method to further reduce constraint violation. Pseudo-projection is a generalization of the concept of projection. We show that a pseudo-projection onto a {\em single} low-rank Hankel-structured matrix constraint can be computed efficiently by existing softwares such as SLRA (Markovsky and Usevich, 2014), under mild assumptions. We also demonstrate how the penalty subproblems in the hybrid penalty method can be solved by pseudo-projection-based optimization methods, and then present some convergence results for our hybrid penalty method. Finally, the efficiency of our method is illustrated by numerical examples.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1906.10396
Pages (from-to)1260-1283
Number of pages21
JournalSIAM Journal on Matrix Analysis and Applications
Issue number3
Early online dateJun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Hankel-structure
  • system identification
  • hybrid penalty method
  • pseudo-projection

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