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Abstract

Semidefinite programming (SDP) is a powerful framework from convex optimization that has striking potential for data science applications. This paper develops a provably correct algorithm for solving large SDP problems by economizing on both the storage and the arithmetic costs. Numerical evidence shows that the method is effective for a range of applications, including relaxations of MaxCut, abstract phase retrieval, and quadratic assignment. Running on a laptop, the algorithm can handle SDP instances where the matrix variable has over $10^{13}$ entries.

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