Oral 11: Learning theory / Kernels

Moderators: Krikamol Muandet · Zoltan Szabo


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Wed 30 March 7:00 - 7:15 PDT

Entropy Regularized Optimal Transport Independence Criterion

Lang Liu · Soumik Pal · Zaid Harchaoui

We introduce an independence criterion based on entropy regularized optimal transport. Our criterion can be used to test for independence between two samples. We establish non-asymptotic bounds for our test statistic and study its statistical behavior under both the null hypothesis and the alternative hypothesis. The theoretical results involve tools from U-process theory and optimal transport theory. We also offer a random feature type approximation for large-scale problems, as well as a differentiable program implementation for deep learning applications. We present experimental results on existing benchmarks for independence testing, illustrating the interest of the proposed criterion to capture both linear and nonlinear dependencies in synthetic data and real data.

Wed 30 March 7:15 - 7:30 PDT

Two-Sample Test with Kernel Projected Wasserstein Distance

Jie Wang · Rui Gao · Yao Xie

We develop a kernel projected Wasserstein distance for the two-sample test, an essential building block in statistics and machine learning: given two sets of samples, to determine whether they are from the same distribution. This method operates by finding the nonlinear mapping in the data space which maximizes the distance between projected distributions. In contrast to existing works about projected Wasserstein distance, the proposed method circumvents the curse of dimensionality more efficiently. We present practical algorithms for computing this distance function together with the non-asymptotic uncertainty quantification of empirical estimates. Numerical examples validate our theoretical results and demonstrate good performance of the proposed method.

Wed 30 March 7:30 - 7:45 PDT

Estimating Functionals of the Out-of-Sample Error Distribution in High-Dimensional Ridge Regression

Pratik Patil · Alessandro Rinaldo · Ryan Tibshirani

We study the problem of estimating the distribution of the out-of-sample prediction error associated with ridge regression. In contrast, the traditional object of study is the uncentered second moment of this distribution (the mean squared prediction error), which can be estimated using cross-validation methods. We show that both generalized and leave-one-out cross-validation (GCV and LOOCV) for ridge regression can be suitably extended to estimate the full error distribution. This is still possible in a high-dimensional setting where the ridge regularization parameter is zero. In an asymptotic framework in which the feature dimension and sample size grow proportionally, we prove that almost surely, with respect to the training data, our estimators (extensions of GCV and LOOCV) converge weakly to the true out-of-sample error distribution. This result requires mild assumptions on the response and feature distributions. We also establish a more general result that allows us to estimate certain functionals of the error distribution, both linear and nonlinear. This yields various applications, including consistent estimation of the quantiles of the out-of-sample error distribution, which gives rise to prediction intervals with asymptotically exact coverage conditional on the training data.

Wed 30 March 7:45 - 8:00 PDT

Heavy-tailed Streaming Statistical Estimation

Che-Ping Tsai · Adarsh Prasad · Sivaraman Balakrishnan · Pradeep Ravikumar

We consider the task of heavy-tailed statistical estimation given streaming $p$-dimensional samples. This could also be viewed as stochastic optimization under heavy-tailed distributions, with an additional $O(p)$ space complexity constraint. We design a clipped stochastic gradient descent algorithm and provide an improved analysis, under a more nuanced condition on the noise of the stochastic gradients, which we show is critical when analyzing stochastic optimization problems arising from general statistical estimation problems. Our results guarantee convergence not just in expectation but with exponential concentration, and moreover does so using $O(1)$ batch size. We provide consequences of our results for mean estimation and linear regression. Finally, we provide empirical corroboration of our results and algorithms via synthetic experiments for mean estimation and linear regression.