New articles on Statistics

[1] 2303.12814

Fixed points of arbitrarily deep 1-dimensional neural networks

In this paper, we introduce a new class of functions on $\mathbb{R}$ that is closed under composition, and contains the logistic sigmoid function. We use this class to show that any 1-dimensional neural network of arbitrary depth with logistic sigmoid activation functions has at most three fixed points. While such neural networks are far from real world applications, we are able to completely understand their fixed points, providing a foundation to the much needed connection between application and theory of deep neural networks.

[2] 2303.12931

Generalized Data Thinning Using Sufficient Statistics

Our goal is to develop a general strategy to decompose a random variable $X$ into multiple independent random variables, without sacrificing any information about unknown parameters. A recent paper showed that for some well-known natural exponential families, $X$ can be "thinned" into independent random variables $X^{(1)}, \ldots, X^{(K)}$, such that $X = \sum_{k=1}^K X^{(k)}$. In this paper, we generalize their procedure by relaxing this summation requirement and simply asking that some known function of the independent random variables exactly reconstruct $X$. This generalization of the procedure serves two purposes. First, it greatly expands the families of distributions for which thinning can be performed. Second, it unifies sample splitting and data thinning, which on the surface seem to be very different, as applications of the same principle. This shared principle is sufficiency. We use this insight to perform generalized thinning operations for a diverse set of families.

[3] 2303.12943

Testing Homogeneity of Proportion Ratios for Stratified Bilateral Correlated Data

Intraclass correlation in bilateral data has been investigated in recent decades with various statistical methods. In practice, stratifying bilateral data by some control variables will provide more sophisticated statistical results to satisfy different research proposed in random clinical trials. In this article, we propose three test statistics (likelihood ratio test, score test, and Wald-type test statistics) to evaluate the homogeneity of proportion ratios for stratified bilateral correlated data under an equal correlation assumption. Monte Carlo simulations of Type I error and power are performed, and the score test yields a robust outcome based on empirical Type I error and power. Lastly, a real data example is conducted to illustrate the proposed three tests.

[4] 2303.13023

Relaxation-based importance sampling for structural reliability analysis

This study presents an importance sampling formulation based on adaptively relaxing parameters from the indicator function and/or the probability density function. The formulation embodies the prevalent mathematical concept of relaxing a complex problem into a sequence of progressively easier sub-problems. Due to the flexibility in constructing relaxation parameters, relaxation-based importance sampling provides a unified framework to formulate various existing variance reduction techniques, such as subset simulation, sequential importance sampling, and annealed importance sampling. More crucially, the framework lays the foundation for creating new importance sampling strategies, tailoring to specific applications. To demonstrate this potential, two importance sampling strategies are proposed. The first strategy couples annealed importance sampling with subset simulation, focusing on low-dimensional problems. The second strategy aims to solve high-dimensional problems by leveraging spherical sampling and scaling techniques. Both methods are desirable for fragility analysis in performance-based engineering, as they can produce the entire fragility surface in a single run of the sampling algorithm. Three numerical examples, including a 1000-dimensional stochastic dynamic problem, are studied to demonstrate the proposed methods.

[5] 2303.13153

Kullback-Leibler divergence for the Fréchet extreme-value distribution

We derive a closed-form solution for the Kullback-Leibler divergence between two Fr\'echet extreme-value distributions. The resulting expression is rather simple and involves the Euler-Mascheroni constant.

[6] 2303.13200

Stability and Inference of the Euler Characteristic Transform

The Euler characteristic transform (ECT) is a signature from topological data analysis (TDA) which summarises shapes embedded in Euclidean space. Compared with other TDA methods, the ECT is fast to compute and it is a sufficient statistic for a broad class of shapes. However, small perturbations of a shape can lead to large distortions in its ECT. In this paper, we propose a new metric on compact one-dimensional shapes and prove that the ECT is stable with respect to this metric. Crucially, our result uses curvature, rather than the size of a triangulation of an underlying shape, to control stability. We further construct a computationally tractable statistical estimator of the ECT based on the theory of Gaussian processes. We use our stability result to prove that our estimator is consistent on shapes perturbed by independent ambient noise; i.e., the estimator converges to the true ECT as the sample size increases.

[7] 2303.13237

Improving estimation for asymptotically independent bivariate extremes via global estimators for the angular dependence function

Modelling the extremal dependence of bivariate variables is important in a wide variety of practical applications, including environmental planning, catastrophe modelling and hydrology. The majority of these approaches are based on the framework of bivariate regular variation, and a wide range of literature is available for estimating the dependence structure in this setting. However, this framework is only applicable to variables exhibiting asymptotic dependence, even though asymptotic independence is often observed in practice. In this paper, we consider the so-called `angular dependence function'; this quantity summarises the extremal dependence structure for asymptotically independent variables. Until recently, only pointwise estimators of the angular dependence function have been available. We introduce a range of global estimators and compare them to another recently introduced technique for global estimation through a systematic simulation study, and a case study on river flow data from the north of England, UK.

[8] 2303.13303

Sample Designs and Estimators for Multimode Surveys with Face-to-Face Data Collection

Survey researchers are increasingly turning to multimode data collection to deal with declines in survey response rates and increasing costs. An efficient approach offers the less costly modes (e.g., web) followed with a more expensive mode for a subsample of the units (e.g., households) within each primary sampling unit (PSU). We present two alternatives to this traditional design. One alternative subsamples PSUs rather than units to constrain costs. The second is a hybrid design that includes a clustered (two-stage) sample and an independent, unclustered sample. Using a simulation, we demonstrate the hybrid design has considerable advantages.

[9] 2303.13323

Deep Generative Multi-Agent Imitation Model as a Computational Benchmark for Evaluating Human Performance in Complex Interactive Tasks: A Case Study in Football

Evaluating the performance of human is a common need across many applications, such as in engineering and sports. When evaluating human performance in completing complex and interactive tasks, the most common way is to use a metric having been proved efficient for that context, or to use subjective measurement techniques. However, this can be an error prone and unreliable process since static metrics cannot capture all the complex contexts associated with such tasks and biases exist in subjective measurement. The objective of our research is to create data-driven AI agents as computational benchmarks to evaluate human performance in solving difficult tasks involving multiple humans and contextual factors. We demonstrate this within the context of football performance analysis. We train a generative model based on Conditional Variational Recurrent Neural Network (VRNN) Model on a large player and ball tracking dataset. The trained model is used to imitate the interactions between two teams and predict the performance from each team. Then the trained Conditional VRNN Model is used as a benchmark to evaluate team performance. The experimental results on Premier League football dataset demonstrates the usefulness of our method to existing state-of-the-art static metric used in football analytics.

[10] 2303.13330

Logistic Regression Equivalence: A Framework for Comparing Logistic Regression Models Across Populations

In this paper we discuss how to evaluate the differences between fitted logistic regression models across sub-populations. Our motivating example is in studying computerized diagnosis for learning disabilities, where sub-populations based on gender may or may not require separate models. In this context, significance tests for hypotheses of no difference between populations may provide perverse incentives, as larger variances and smaller samples increase the probability of not-rejecting the null. We argue that equivalence testing for a prespecified tolerance level on population differences incentivizes accuracy in the inference. We develop a cascading set of equivalence tests, in which each test addresses a different aspect of the model: the way the phenomenon is coded in the regression coefficients, the individual predictions in the per example log odds ratio and the overall accuracy in the mean square prediction error. For each equivalence test, we propose a strategy for setting the equivalence thresholds. The large-sample approximations are validated using simulations. For diagnosis data, we show examples for equivalent and non-equivalent models.

[11] 2303.13429

Interacting Particle Langevin Algorithm for Maximum Marginal Likelihood Estimation

We study a class of interacting particle systems for implementing a marginal maximum likelihood estimation (MLE) procedure to optimize over the parameters of a latent variable model. To do so, we propose a continuous-time interacting particle system which can be seen as a Langevin diffusion over an extended state space, where the number of particles acts as the inverse temperature parameter in classical settings for optimisation. Using Langevin diffusions, we prove nonasymptotic concentration bounds for the optimisation error of the maximum marginal likelihood estimator in terms of the number of particles in the particle system, the number of iterations of the algorithm, and the step-size parameter for the time discretisation analysis.

[12] 2303.13474

PAC-Bayes Bounds for High-Dimensional Multi-Index Models with Unknown Active Dimension

The multi-index model with sparse dimension reduction matrix is a popular approach to circumvent the curse of dimensionality in a high-dimensional regression setting. Building on the single-index analysis by Alquier, P. & Biau, G. (Journal of Machine Learning Research 14 (2013) 243-280), we develop a PAC-Bayesian estimation method for a possibly misspecified multi-index model with unknown active dimension and an orthogonal dimension reduction matrix. Our main result is a non-asymptotic oracle inequality, which shows that the estimation method adapts to the active dimension of the model, the sparsity of the dimension reduction matrix and the regularity of the link function. Under a Sobolev regularity assumption on the link function the estimator achieves the minimax rate of convergence (up to a logarithmic factor) and no additional price is paid for the unknown active dimension.

[13] 2303.12834

The power and limitations of learning quantum dynamics incoherently

Quantum process learning is emerging as an important tool to study quantum systems. While studied extensively in coherent frameworks, where the target and model system can share quantum information, less attention has been paid to whether the dynamics of quantum systems can be learned without the system and target directly interacting. Such incoherent frameworks are practically appealing since they open up methods of transpiling quantum processes between the different physical platforms without the need for technically challenging hybrid entanglement schemes. Here we provide bounds on the sample complexity of learning unitary processes incoherently by analyzing the number of measurements that are required to emulate well-established coherent learning strategies. We prove that if arbitrary measurements are allowed, then any efficiently representable unitary can be efficiently learned within the incoherent framework; however, when restricted to shallow-depth measurements only low-entangling unitaries can be learned. We demonstrate our incoherent learning algorithm for low entangling unitaries by successfully learning a 16-qubit unitary on \texttt{ibmq\_kolkata}, and further demonstrate the scalabilty of our proposed algorithm through extensive numerical experiments.

[14] 2303.12878

Robust Consensus in Ranking Data Analysis: Definitions, Properties and Computational Issues

As the issue of robustness in AI systems becomes vital, statistical learning techniques that are reliable even in presence of partly contaminated data have to be developed. Preference data, in the form of (complete) rankings in the simplest situations, are no exception and the demand for appropriate concepts and tools is all the more pressing given that technologies fed by or producing this type of data (e.g. search engines, recommending systems) are now massively deployed. However, the lack of vector space structure for the set of rankings (i.e. the symmetric group $\mathfrak{S}_n$) and the complex nature of statistics considered in ranking data analysis make the formulation of robustness objectives in this domain challenging. In this paper, we introduce notions of robustness, together with dedicated statistical methods, for Consensus Ranking the flagship problem in ranking data analysis, aiming at summarizing a probability distribution on $\mathfrak{S}_n$ by a median ranking. Precisely, we propose specific extensions of the popular concept of breakdown point, tailored to consensus ranking, and address the related computational issues. Beyond the theoretical contributions, the relevance of the approach proposed is supported by an experimental study.

[15] 2303.12922

Revisiting the Fragility of Influence Functions

In the last few years, many works have tried to explain the predictions of deep learning models. Few methods, however, have been proposed to verify the accuracy or faithfulness of these explanations. Recently, influence functions, which is a method that approximates the effect that leave-one-out training has on the loss function, has been shown to be fragile. The proposed reason for their fragility remains unclear. Although previous work suggests the use of regularization to increase robustness, this does not hold in all cases. In this work, we seek to investigate the experiments performed in the prior work in an effort to understand the underlying mechanisms of influence function fragility. First, we verify influence functions using procedures from the literature under conditions where the convexity assumptions of influence functions are met. Then, we relax these assumptions and study the effects of non-convexity by using deeper models and more complex datasets. Here, we analyze the key metrics and procedures that are used to validate influence functions. Our results indicate that the validation procedures may cause the observed fragility.

[16] 2303.12957

Reinforcement Learning with Exogenous States and Rewards

Exogenous state variables and rewards can slow reinforcement learning by injecting uncontrolled variation into the reward signal. This paper formalizes exogenous state variables and rewards and shows that if the reward function decomposes additively into endogenous and exogenous components, the MDP can be decomposed into an exogenous Markov Reward Process (based on the exogenous reward) and an endogenous Markov Decision Process (optimizing the endogenous reward). Any optimal policy for the endogenous MDP is also an optimal policy for the original MDP, but because the endogenous reward typically has reduced variance, the endogenous MDP is easier to solve. We study settings where the decomposition of the state space into exogenous and endogenous state spaces is not given but must be discovered. The paper introduces and proves correctness of algorithms for discovering the exogenous and endogenous subspaces of the state space when they are mixed through linear combination. These algorithms can be applied during reinforcement learning to discover the exogenous space, remove the exogenous reward, and focus reinforcement learning on the endogenous MDP. Experiments on a variety of challenging synthetic MDPs show that these methods, applied online, discover large exogenous state spaces and produce substantial speedups in reinforcement learning.

[17] 2303.12964

Continuous Indeterminate Probability Neural Network

This paper introduces a general model called CIPNN - Continuous Indeterminate Probability Neural Network, and this model is based on IPNN, which is used for discrete latent random variables. Currently, posterior of continuous latent variables is regarded as intractable, with the new theory proposed by IPNN this problem can be solved. Our contributions are Four-fold. First, we derive the analytical solution of the posterior calculation of continuous latent random variables and propose a general classification model (CIPNN). Second, we propose a general auto-encoder called CIPAE - Continuous Indeterminate Probability Auto-Encoder, the decoder part is not a neural network and uses a fully probabilistic inference model for the first time. Third, we propose a new method to visualize the latent random variables, we use one of N dimensional latent variables as a decoder to reconstruct the input image, which can work even for classification tasks, in this way, we can see what each latent variable has learned. Fourth, IPNN has shown great classification capability, CIPNN has pushed this classification capability to infinity. Theoretical advantages are reflected in experimental results.

[18] 2303.13034

Preference-Aware Constrained Multi-Objective Bayesian Optimization

This paper addresses the problem of constrained multi-objective optimization over black-box objective functions with practitioner-specified preferences over the objectives when a large fraction of the input space is infeasible (i.e., violates constraints). This problem arises in many engineering design problems including analog circuits and electric power system design. Our overall goal is to approximate the optimal Pareto set over the small fraction of feasible input designs. The key challenges include the huge size of the design space, multiple objectives and large number of constraints, and the small fraction of feasible input designs which can be identified only after performing expensive simulations. We propose a novel and efficient preference-aware constrained multi-objective Bayesian optimization approach referred to as PAC-MOO to address these challenges. The key idea is to learn surrogate models for both output objectives and constraints, and select the candidate input for evaluation in each iteration that maximizes the information gained about the optimal constrained Pareto front while factoring in the preferences over objectives. Our experiments on two real-world analog circuit design optimization problems demonstrate the efficacy of PAC-MOO over prior methods.

[19] 2303.13112

A Simple Explanation for the Phase Transition in Large Language Models with List Decoding

Various recent experimental results show that large language models (LLM) exhibit emergent abilities that are not present in small models. System performance is greatly improved after passing a certain critical threshold of scale. In this letter, we provide a simple explanation for such a phase transition phenomenon. For this, we model an LLM as a sequence-to-sequence random function. Instead of using instant generation at each step, we use a list decoder that keeps a list of candidate sequences at each step and defers the generation of the output sequence at the end. We show that there is a critical threshold such that the expected number of erroneous candidate sequences remains bounded when an LLM is below the threshold, and it grows exponentially when an LLM is above the threshold. Such a threshold is related to the basic reproduction number in a contagious disease.

[20] 2303.13188

A Multiple Linear Regression Analysis to Measure the Journal Contribution to the Social Attention of Research

This paper proposes a three-year average of social attention as a more reliable measure of social impact for journals, since the social attention of research can vary widely among scientific articles, even within the same journal. The proposed measure is used to evaluate a journal's contribution to social attention in comparison to other bibliometric indicators. The study uses Dimensions as a data source and examines research articles from 76 disciplinary library and information science journals through multiple linear regression analysis. The study identifies socially influential journals whose contribution to social attention is twice that of scholarly impact as measured by citations. In addition, the study finds that the number of authors and open access have a moderate impact on social attention, while the journal impact factor has a negative impact and funding has a small impact.

[21] 2303.13218

Functional-Coefficient Quantile Regression for Panel Data with Latent Group Structure

This paper considers estimating functional-coefficient models in panel quantile regression with individual effects, allowing the cross-sectional and temporal dependence for large panel observations. A latent group structure is imposed on the heterogenous quantile regression models so that the number of nonparametric functional coefficients to be estimated can be reduced considerably. With the preliminary local linear quantile estimates of the subject-specific functional coefficients, a classic agglomerative clustering algorithm is used to estimate the unknown group structure and an easy-to-implement ratio criterion is proposed to determine the group number. The estimated group number and structure are shown to be consistent. Furthermore, a post-grouping local linear smoothing method is introduced to estimate the group-specific functional coefficients, and the relevant asymptotic normal distribution theory is derived with a normalisation rate comparable to that in the literature. The developed methodologies and theory are verified through a simulation study and showcased with an application to house price data from UK local authority districts, which reveals different homogeneity structures at different quantile levels.

[22] 2303.13228

Enriching Neural Network Training Dataset to Improve Worst-Case Performance Guarantees

Machine learning algorithms, especially Neural Networks (NNs), are a valuable tool used to approximate non-linear relationships, like the AC-Optimal Power Flow (AC-OPF), with considerable accuracy -- and achieving a speedup of several orders of magnitude when deployed for use. Often in power systems literature, the NNs are trained with a fixed dataset generated prior to the training process. In this paper, we show that adapting the NN training dataset during training can improve the NN performance and substantially reduce its worst-case violations. This paper proposes an algorithm that identifies and enriches the training dataset with critical datapoints that reduce the worst-case violations and deliver a neural network with improved worst-case performance guarantees. We demonstrate the performance of our algorithm in four test power systems, ranging from 39-buses to 162-buses.

[23] 2303.13462

Generalization with quantum geometry for learning unitaries

Generalization is the ability of quantum machine learning models to make accurate predictions on new data by learning from training data. Here, we introduce the data quantum Fisher information metric (DQFIM) to determine when a model can generalize. For variational learning of unitaries, the DQFIM quantifies the amount of circuit parameters and training data needed to successfully train and generalize. We apply the DQFIM to explain when a constant number of training states and polynomial number of parameters are sufficient for generalization. Further, we can improve generalization by removing symmetries from training data. Finally, we show that out-of-distribution generalization, where training and testing data are drawn from different data distributions, can be better than using the same distribution. Our work opens up new approaches to improve generalization in quantum machine learning.

[24] 2303.13501

Chordal Averaging on Flag Manifolds and Its Applications

This paper presents a new, provably-convergent algorithm for computing the flag-mean and flag-median of a set of points on a flag manifold under the chordal metric. The flag manifold is a mathematical space consisting of flags, which are sequences of nested subspaces of a vector space that increase in dimension. The flag manifold is a superset of a wide range of known matrix groups, including Stiefel and Grassmanians, making it a general object that is useful in a wide variety computer vision problems. To tackle the challenge of computing first order flag statistics, we first transform the problem into one that involves auxiliary variables constrained to the Stiefel manifold. The Stiefel manifold is a space of orthogonal frames, and leveraging the numerical stability and efficiency of Stiefel-manifold optimization enables us to compute the flag-mean effectively. Through a series of experiments, we show the competence of our method in Grassmann and rotation averaging, as well as principal component analysis.