[edit]

# Optimal randomized multilevel Monte Carlo for repeatedly nested expectations

*Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 202:33343-33364, 2023.

#### Abstract

The estimation of repeatedly nested expectations is a challenging task that arises in many real-world systems. However, existing methods generally suffer from high computational costs when the number of nestings becomes large. Fix any non-negative integer $D$ for the total number of nestings. Standard Monte Carlo methods typically cost at least $\mathcal{O}(\varepsilon^{-(2+D)})$ and sometimes $\mathcal {O}(\varepsilon^{-2(1+D)})$ to obtain an estimator up to $\varepsilon$-error. More advanced methods, such as multilevel Monte Carlo, currently only exist for $D = 1$. In this paper, we propose a novel Monte Carlo estimator called $\mathsf{READ}$, which stands for “Recursive Estimator for Arbitrary Depth.” Our estimator has an optimal computational cost of $\mathcal{O}(\varepsilon^{-2})$ for every fixed $D$ under suitable assumptions, and a nearly optimal computational cost of $\mathcal{O}(\varepsilon^{-2(1 + \delta)})$ for any $0 < \delta < \frac12$ under much more general assumptions. Our estimator is also unbiased, which makes it easy to parallelize. The key ingredients in our construction are an observation of the problem’s recursive structure and the recursive use of the randomized multilevel Monte Carlo method.