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  1. The weighted nearest neighbors (WNN) estimator has been popularly used as a flexible and easy-to-implement nonparametric tool for mean regression estimation. The bagging technique is an elegant way to form WNN estimators with weights automatically generated to the nearest neighbors (Steele, 2009; Biau et al., 2010); we name the resulting estimator as the distributional nearest neighbors (DNN) for easy reference. Yet, there is a lack of distributional results for such estimator, limiting its application to statistical inference. Moreover, when the mean regression function has higher-order smoothness, DNN does not achieve the optimal nonparametric convergence rate, mainly because of the bias issue. In this work, we provide an in-depth technical analysis of the DNN, based on which we suggest a bias reduction approach for the DNN estimator by linearly combining two DNN estimators with different subsampling scales, resulting in the novel two-scale DNN (TDNN) estimator. The two-scale DNN estimator has an equivalent representation of WNN with weights admitting explicit forms and some being negative. We prove that, thanks to the use of negative weights, the two-scale DNN estimator enjoys the optimal nonparametric rate of convergence in estimating the regression function under the fourth order smoothness condition. We further go beyond estimation and establish that the DNN and two-scale DNN are both asymptotically normal as the subsampling scales and sample size diverge to infinity. For the practical implementation, we also provide variance estimators and a distribution estimator using the jackknife and bootstrap techniques for the two-scale DNN. These estimators can be exploited for constructing valid confidence intervals for nonparametric inference of the regression function. The theoretical results and appealing nite-sample performance of the suggested two-scale DNN method are illustrated with several simulation examples and a real data application. 
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  2. Summary Model selection is crucial both to high-dimensional learning and to inference for contemporary big data applications in pinpointing the best set of covariates among a sequence of candidate interpretable models. Most existing work implicitly assumes that the models are correctly specified or have fixed dimensionality, yet both model misspecification and high dimensionality are prevalent in practice. In this paper, we exploit the framework of model selection principles under the misspecified generalized linear models presented in Lv & Liu (2014), and investigate the asymptotic expansion of the posterior model probability in the setting of high-dimensional misspecified models. With a natural choice of prior probabilities that encourages interpretability and incorporates the KullbackÔÇôLeibler divergence, we suggest using the high-dimensional generalized Bayesian information criterion with prior probability for large-scale model selection with misspecification. Our new information criterion characterizes the impacts of both model misspecification and high dimensionality on model selection. We further establish the consistency of covariance contrast matrix estimation and the model selection consistency of the new information criterion in ultrahigh dimensions under some mild regularity conditions. Our numerical studies demonstrate that the proposed method enjoys improved model selection consistency over its main competitors. 
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