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  1. ABSTRACT

    To infer the treatment effect for a single treated unit using panel data, synthetic control (SC) methods construct a linear combination of control units’ outcomes that mimics the treated unit’s pre-treatment outcome trajectory. This linear combination is subsequently used to impute the counterfactual outcomes of the treated unit had it not been treated in the post-treatment period, and used to estimate the treatment effect. Existing SC methods rely on correctly modeling certain aspects of the counterfactual outcome generating mechanism and may require near-perfect matching of the pre-treatment trajectory. Inspired by proximal causal inference, we obtain two novel nonparametric identifying formulas for the average treatment effect for the treated unit: one is based on weighting, and the other combines models for the counterfactual outcome and the weighting function. We introduce the concept of covariate shift to SCs to obtain these identification results conditional on the treatment assignment. We also develop two treatment effect estimators based on these two formulas and generalized method of moments. One new estimator is doubly robust: it is consistent and asymptotically normal if at least one of the outcome and weighting models is correctly specified. We demonstrate the performance of the methods via simulations and apply them to evaluate the effectiveness of a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine on the risk of all-cause pneumonia in Brazil.

     
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  2. Michael Mahoney (Ed.)
    This paper develops conformal inference methods to construct a confidence interval for the frequency of a queried object in a very large discrete data set, based on a sketch with a lower memory footprint. This approach requires no knowledge of the data distribution and can be combined with any sketching algorithm, including but not limited to the renowned count-min sketch, the count-sketch, and variations thereof. After explaining how to achieve marginal coverage for exchangeable random queries, we extend our solution to provide stronger inferences that can account for the discreteness of the data and for heterogeneous query frequencies, increasing also robustness to possible distribution shifts. These results are facilitated by a novel conformal calibration technique that guarantees valid coverage for a large fraction of distinct random queries. Finally, we show our methods have improved empirical performance compared to existing frequentist and Bayesian alternatives in simulations as well as in examples of text and SARS-CoV-2 DNA data. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  3. Abstract

    Predicting sets of outcomes—instead of unique outcomes—is a promising solution to uncertainty quantification in statistical learning. Despite a rich literature on constructing prediction sets with statistical guarantees, adapting to unknown covariate shift—a prevalent issue in practice—poses a serious unsolved challenge. In this article, we show that prediction sets with finite-sample coverage guarantee are uninformative and propose a novel flexible distribution-free method, PredSet-1Step, to efficiently construct prediction sets with an asymptotic coverage guarantee under unknown covariate shift. We formally show that our method is asymptotically probably approximately correct, having well-calibrated coverage error with high confidence for large samples. We illustrate that it achieves nominal coverage in a number of experiments and a data set concerning HIV risk prediction in a South African cohort study. Our theory hinges on a new bound for the convergence rate of the coverage of Wald confidence intervals based on general asymptotically linear estimators.

     
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  4. null (Ed.)