Statistical inference with implicit SGD: proximal Robbins-Monro vs. Polyak-Ruppert
Proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 162:12423-12454, 2022.
The implicit stochastic gradient descent (ISGD), a proximal version of SGD, is gaining interest in the literature due to its stability over (explicit) SGD. In this paper, we conduct an in-depth analysis of the two modes of ISGD for smooth convex functions, namely proximal Robbins-Monro (proxRM) and proximal Poylak-Ruppert (proxPR) procedures, for their use in statistical inference on model parameters. Specifically, we derive non-asymptotic point estimation error bounds of both proxRM and proxPR iterates and their limiting distributions, and propose on-line estimators of their asymptotic covariance matrices that require only a single run of ISGD. The latter estimators are used to construct valid confidence intervals for the model parameters. Our analysis is free of the generalized linear model assumption that has limited the preceding analyses, and employs feasible procedures. Our on-line covariance matrix estimators appear to be the first of this kind in the ISGD literature.