Pointwise Tracking the Optimal Regression Function

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25 (NIPS 2012)

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Yair Wiener, Ran El-Yaniv


This paper examines the possibility of a `reject option' in the context of least squares regression. It is shown that using rejection it is theoretically possible to learn `selective' regressors that can $\epsilon$-pointwise track the best regressor in hindsight from the same hypothesis class, while rejecting only a bounded portion of the domain. Moreover, the rejected volume vanishes with the training set size, under certain conditions. We then develop efficient and exact implementation of these selective regressors for the case of linear regression. Empirical evaluation over a suite of real-world datasets corroborates the theoretical analysis and indicates that our selective regressors can provide substantial advantage by reducing estimation error.