Group synchronization on grids

Emmanuel Abbe, Laurent Massoulié, Andrea Montanari, Allan Sly, Nikhil Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Group synchronization requires to estimate unknown elements (θv)v∈V of a compact group G associated to the vertices of a graph G = (V; E), using noisy observations of the group differences associated to the edges. This model is relevant to a variety of applications ranging from structure from motion in computer vision to graph localization and positioning, to certain families of community detection problems. We focus on the case in which the graph G is the d-dimensional grid. Since the unknowns θv are only determined up to a global action of the group, we consider the following weak recovery question. Can we determine the group difference (formula presented) between far apart vertices u; v better than by random guessing? We prove that weak recovery is possible (provided the noise is small enough) for d ≥ 3 and, for certain finite groups, for d ≥ 2. Vice-versa, for some continuous groups, we prove that weak recovery is impossible for d = 2. Finally, for strong enough noise, weak recovery is always impossible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-256
Number of pages30
JournalMathematical Statistics and Learning
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Signal Processing
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Theoretical Computer Science


  • Graphs
  • community detection
  • group synchronization
  • weak recovery


Dive into the research topics of 'Group synchronization on grids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this