The Devil is in the Detail: A Framework for Macroscopic Prediction via Microscopic Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Yingxiang Yang, Negar Kiyavash, Le Song, Niao He


<p>Macroscopic data aggregated from microscopic events are pervasive in machine learning, such as country-level COVID-19 infection statistics based on city-level data. Yet, many existing approaches for predicting macroscopic behavior only use aggregated data, leaving a large amount of fine-grained microscopic information unused. In this paper, we propose a principled optimization framework for macroscopic prediction by fitting microscopic models based on conditional stochastic optimization. The framework leverages both macroscopic and microscopic information, and adapts to individual microscopic models involved in the aggregation. In addition, we propose efficient learning algorithms with convergence guarantees. In our experiments, we show that the proposed learning framework clearly outperforms other plug-in supervised learning approaches in real-world applications, including the prediction of daily infections of COVID-19 and medicare claims.</p>