Learning without concentration


Shahar Mendelson ;
Proceedings of The 27th Conference on Learning Theory, PMLR 35:25-39, 2014.


We obtain sharp bounds on the convergence rate of Empirical Risk Minimization performed in a convex class and with respect to the squared loss, without any boundedness assumptions on class members or on the target. Rather than resorting to a concentration-based argument, the method relies on a ‘small-ball’ assumption and thus holds for heavy-tailed sampling and heavy-tailed targets. Moreover, the resulting estimates scale correctly with the ‘noise level’ of the problem. When applied to the classical, bounded scenario, the method always improves the known estimates.

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