Matrix Factorisation and the Eigendecomposition of the Gram Matrix

Here we consider the problem of approximately factorising a matrix $X$ without constraints and show that solutions can be generated from the orthonormal eigenvectors of the Gram matrix $X^T X$ (i.e. of the sample covariance matrix).

For this we need the eigendecomposition of real symmetric matrices.



Questions, all related to one another:

  • What other solutions are there?
  • (Speculative) can we characterise the solutions as orbits of the orthogonal group on the solutions above, and on those solutions obtained from the above by adding rows of zeros to $B$?
  • Under what constraints, if any, are the optimal solutions to matrix factorisation matrices with orthonormal rows/columns? To what extent does orthogonality come for free?