Directed Regression

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Yi-hao Kao, Benjamin Roy, Xiang Yan


When used to guide decisions, linear regression analysis typically involves estimation of regression coefficients via ordinary least squares and their subsequent use to make decisions. When there are multiple response variables and features do not perfectly capture their relationships, it is beneficial to account for the decision objective when computing regression coefficients. Empirical optimization does so but sacrifices performance when features are well-chosen or training data are insufficient. We propose directed regression, an efficient algorithm that combines merits of ordinary least squares and empirical optimization. We demonstrate through a computational study that directed regression can generate significant performance gains over either alternative. We also develop a theory that motivates the algorithm.