Wasserstein Distributionally Robust Optimization: Theory and Applications in Machine Learning

Dec 13, 2019

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We consider stochastic optimization problems where the distribution of the uncertain parameters is only observable through a finite training dataset. Wasserstein distributionally robust optimization seeks data-driven decisions that perform well under the most adverse distribution within a certain Wasserstein distance from a nominal distribution constructed from the training samples. This approach has many conceptual and computational benefits. Most prominently, the optimal decisions can often be computed by solving tractable convex optimization problems, and they enjoy rigorous out-of-sample and asymptotic consistency guarantees. We will show that Wasserstein distributionally robust optimization has interesting ramifications for statistical learning and motivates new approaches for fundamental learning tasks such as classification, regression, maximum likelihood estimation or minimum mean square error estimation, among others.

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Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) is a multi-track machine learning and computational neuroscience conference that includes invited talks, demonstrations, symposia and oral and poster presentations of refereed papers. Following the conference, there are workshops which provide a less formal setting.

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