Local law and Tracy-Widom limit for sparse sample covariance matrices

Research paper by Jong Yun Hwang, Ji Oon Lee, Kevin Schnelli

Indexed on: 07 Jun '18Published on: 07 Jun '18Published in: arXiv - Mathematics - Probability


We consider spectral properties of sparse sample covariance matrices, which includes biadjacency matrices of the bipartite Erd\H{o}s-R\'enyi graph model. We prove a local law for the eigenvalue density up to the upper spectral edge. Under a suitable condition on the sparsity, we also prove that the limiting distribution of the rescaled, shifted extremal eigenvalues is given by the GOE Tracy-Widom law with an explicit formula on the deterministic shift of the spectral edge. For the biadjacency matrix of an Erd\H{o}s-R\'enyi graph with two vertex sets of comparable sizes $M$ and $N$, this establishes Tracy-Widom fluctuations of the second largest eigenvalue when the connection probability $p$ is much larger than $N^{-2/3}$ with a deterministic shift of order $(Np)^{-1}$.