Principal component analysis (PCA) is a classical dimension reduction method which projects data onto the principal subspace spanned by the leading eigenvectors of the covariance matrix. However, it behaves poorly when the number of features $p$ is comparable to, or even much larger than, the sample size $n$. In this paper, we propose a new iterative thresholding approach for estimating principal subspaces in the setting where the leading eigenvectors are sparse. Under a spiked covariance model, we find that the new approach recovers the principal subspace and leading eigenvectors consistently, and even optimally, in a range of high-dimensional sparse settings. Simulated examples also demonstrate its competitive performance.
"Sparse principal component analysis and iterative thresholding." Ann. Statist. 41 (2) 772 - 801, April 2013. https://doi.org/10.1214/13-AOS1097