Addressing the interpretability problem of NMF on Boolean data, Boolean Matrix Factorization (BMF) uses Boolean algebra to decompose the input into low-rank Boolean factor matrices. These matrices are highly interpretable and very useful in practice, but they come at the high computational cost of solving an NP-hard combinatorial optimization problem. To reduce the computational burden, we propose to relax BMF continuously using a novel elastic-binary regularizer, from which we derive a proximal gradient algorithm. Through an extensive set of experiments, we demonstrate that our method works well in practice: On synthetic data, we show that it converges quickly, recovers the ground truth precisely, and estimates the simulated rank exactly. On real-world data, we improve upon the state of the art in recall, loss, and runtime, and a case study from the medical domain confirms that our results are easily interpretable and semantically meaningful.
Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems