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# Active Learning for Distributionally Robust Level-Set Estimation

*Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 139:4574-4584, 2021.

#### Abstract

Many cases exist in which a black-box function $f$ with high evaluation cost depends on two types of variables $\bm x$ and $\bm w$, where $\bm x$ is a controllable \emph{design} variable and $\bm w$ are uncontrollable \emph{environmental} variables that have random variation following a certain distribution $P$. In such cases, an important task is to find the range of design variables $\bm x$ such that the function $f(\bm x, \bm w)$ has the desired properties by incorporating the random variation of the environmental variables $\bm w$. A natural measure of robustness is the probability that $f(\bm x, \bm w)$ exceeds a given threshold $h$, which is known as the \emph{probability threshold robustness} (PTR) measure in the literature on robust optimization. However, this robustness measure cannot be correctly evaluated when the distribution $P$ is unknown. In this study, we addressed this problem by considering the \textit{distributionally robust PTR} (DRPTR) measure, which considers the worst-case PTR within given candidate distributions. Specifically, we studied the problem of efficiently identifying a reliable set $H$, which is defined as a region in which the DRPTR measure exceeds a certain desired probability $\alpha$, which can be interpreted as a level set estimation (LSE) problem for DRPTR. We propose a theoretically grounded and computationally efficient active learning method for this problem. We show that the proposed method has theoretical guarantees on convergence and accuracy, and confirmed through numerical experiments that the proposed method outperforms existing methods.