An outstanding challenge in many problems throughout science and engineering is to succinctly characterize the relationships among a large number of interacting entities. Models based on graphs form one major thrust in this thesis, as graphs often provide a concise representation of the interactions among a large set of variables. A second major emphasis of this thesis are classes of structured models that satisfy certain algebraic constraints. The common theme underlying these approaches is the development of computational methods based on convex optimization, which are in turn useful in a broad array of problems in signal processing and machine learning. The specific contributions are as follows: • We propose a convex optimization method for decomposing the sum of a sparse matrix and a low-rank matrix into the individual components. Based on new rank-sparsity uncertainty principles, we give conditions under which the convex program exactly recovers the underlying components. • Building on the previous point, we describe a convex optimization approach t
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