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Conformal Contextual Robust Optimization

Yash Patel · Sahana Rayan · Ambuj Tewari

MR1 & MR2 - Number 101
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Thu 2 May 8 a.m. PDT — 8:30 a.m. PDT
Oral presentation: Oral: RL & Optimization
Thu 2 May 1:30 a.m. PDT — 2:30 a.m. PDT


Data-driven approaches to predict-then-optimize decision-making problems seek to mitigate the risk of uncertainty region misspecification in safety-critical settings. Current approaches, however, suffer from considering overly conservative uncertainty regions, often resulting in suboptimal decision-making. To this end, we propose Conformal-Predict-Then-Optimize (CPO), a framework for leveraging highly informative, nonconvex conformal prediction regions over high-dimensional spaces based on conditional generative models, which have the desired distribution-free coverage guarantees. Despite guaranteeing robustness, such black-box optimization procedures alone inspire little confidence owing to the lack of explanation of why a particular decision was found to be optimal. We, therefore, augment CPO to additionally provide semantically meaningful visual summaries of the uncertainty regions to give qualitative intuition for the optimal decision. We highlight the CPO framework by demonstrating results on a suite of simulation-based inference benchmark tasks and a vehicle routing task based on probabilistic weather prediction.

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