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Stochastics and Statistics Seminar

Robust Estimation: Optimal Rates, Computation and Adaptation

April 26, 2019 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Chao Gao (University of Chicago)



Chao Gao will discuss the problem of statistical estimation with contaminated data. In the first part of the talk, I will discuss depth-based approaches that achieve minimax rates in various problems. In general, the minimax rate of a given problem with contamination consists of two terms: the statistical complexity without contamination, and the contamination effect in the form of modulus of continuity. In the second part of the talk, I will discuss computational challenges of these depth-based estimators. An interesting relation between statistical depth function and a general f-learning framework will be discussed, which leads to a computation strategy via minimax optimization in the framework of generative adversarial nets (GAN). Finally, I will address the problem of adaptive estimation under contamination model. It turns out adaptive estimation becomes a much harder task with contamination. Besides the classical logarithmic cost of adaptive estimation in some cases, it can be shown that in certain situation, adaptation can be completely impossible with any rate.


Chao Gao is an assistant professor in statistics at University of Chicago. I graduated from Yale University. My advisor is Harry Zhou. My research lies in nonparametric and high-dimensional statistics, network analysis, Bayes theory and robust statistics.

MIT Statistics and Data Science Center host guest lecturers from around the world in this weekly seminar.

MIT Statistics + Data Science Center
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307