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Learning Prediction Intervals for Regression: Generalization and Calibration

Haoxian Chen · Ziyi Huang · Henry Lam · Huajie Qian · Haofeng Zhang

Keywords: [ Learning Theory and Statistics ] [ Statistical Learning Theory ]


We study the generation of prediction intervals in regression for uncertainty quantification. This task can be formalized as an empirical constrained optimization problem that minimizes the average interval width while maintaining the coverage accuracy across data. We strengthen the existing literature by studying two aspects of this empirical optimization. First is a general learning theory to characterize the optimality-feasibility tradeoff that encompasses Lipschitz continuity and VC-subgraph classes, which are exemplified in regression trees and neural networks. Second is a calibration machinery and the corresponding statistical theory to optimally select the regularization parameter that manages this tradeoff, which bypasses the overfitting issues in previous approaches in coverage attainment. We empirically demonstrate the strengths of our interval generation and calibration algorithms in terms of testing performances compared to existing benchmarks.

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