Latent Multimodal Functional Graphical Model Estimation


Joint multimodal functional data acquisition, where functional data from multiple modes are measured simultaneously from the same subject, has emerged as an exciting modern approach enabled by recent engineering breakthroughs in the neurological and biological sciences. One prominent motivation to acquire such data is to enable new discoveries of the underlying connectivity by combining multimodal signals. Despite the scientific interest, there remains a gap in principled statistical methods for estimating the graph underlying multimodal functional data. To this end, we propose a new integrative framework that models the data generation process and identifies operators mapping from the observation space to the latent space. We then develop an estimator that simultaneously estimates the transformation operators and the latent graph. This estimator is based on the partial correlation operator, which we rigorously extend from the multivariate to the functional setting. Our procedure is provably efficient, with the estimator converging to a stationary point with quantifiable statistical error. Furthermore, we show recovery of the latent graph under mild conditions. Our work is applied to analyze simultaneously acquired multimodal brain imaging data where the graph indicates functional connectivity of the brain. We present simulation and empirical results that support the benefits of joint estimation.

Technical report
Boxin Zhao
Boxin Zhao
PhD student

Boxin Zhao is a PhD student in Econometrics and Statistics at University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. His research interests include probabilistic graphical models, functional data analysis and distributed learning, with a focus on developing novel methodologies with both practical applications and theoretical guarantees.

Mladen Kolar
Mladen Kolar
Associate Professor of Econometrics and Statistics

Mladen Kolar is an Associate Professor of Econometrics and Statistics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His research is focused on high-dimensional statistical methods, graphical models, varying-coefficient models and data mining, driven by the need to uncover interesting and scientifically meaningful structures from observational data.