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# Multi-modal conformal prediction regions by optimizing convex shape templates

*Proceedings of the 6th Annual Learning for Dynamics & Control Conference*, PMLR 242:1343-1356, 2024.

#### Abstract

Conformal prediction is a statistical tool for producing prediction regions for machine learning models that are valid with high probability. A key component of conformal prediction algorithms is a non-conformity score function that quantifies how different a model’s prediction is from the unknown ground truth value. Essentially, these functions determine the shape and the size of the conformal prediction regions. However, little work has gone into finding non-conformity score functions that produce prediction regions that are multi-modal and practical, i.e., that can efficiently be used in engineering applications. We propose a method that optimizes parameterized shape template functions over calibration data, which results in non-conformity score functions that produce prediction regions with minimum volume. Our approach results in prediction regions that are multi-modal, so they can properly capture residuals of distributions that have multiple modes, and practical, so each region is convex and can be easily incorporated into downstream tasks, such as a motion planner using conformal prediction regions. Our method applies to general supervised learning tasks, while we illustrate its use in time-series prediction. We provide a toolbox and present illustrative case studies of F16 fighter jets and autonomous vehicles, showing an up to 68% reduction in prediction region area.