Continuum Limits of Ollivier’s Ricci Curvature on data clouds: pointwise consistency and global lower bounds


Let M in R^d denote a low-dimensional manifold and let X={x1, …, xn} be a collection of points uniformly sampled from M. We study the relationship between the curvature of a random geometric graph built from M and the curvature of the manifold M via continuum limits of Ollivier’s discrete Ricci curvature. We prove pointwise, non-asymptotic consistency results and also show that if M has Ricci curvature bounded from below by a positive constant, then the random geometric graph will inherit this global structural property with high probability. We discuss applications of the global discrete curvature bounds to contraction properties of heat kernels on graphs, as well as implications for manifold learning from data clouds. In particular, we show that the consistency results allow for characterizing the intrinsic curvature of a manifold from extrinsic curvature.

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