Multivariate Dyadic Regression Trees for Sparse Learning Problems

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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Han Liu, Xi Chen


We propose a new nonparametric learning method based on multivariate dyadic regression trees (MDRTs). Unlike traditional dyadic decision trees (DDTs) or classification and regression trees (CARTs), MDRTs are constructed using penalized empirical risk minimization with a novel sparsity-inducing penalty. Theoretically, we show that MDRTs can simultaneously adapt to the unknown sparsity and smoothness of the true regression functions, and achieve the nearly optimal rates of convergence (in a minimax sense) for the class of $(\alpha, C)$-smooth functions. Empirically, MDRTs can simultaneously conduct function estimation and variable selection in high dimensions. To make MDRTs applicable for large-scale learning problems, we propose a greedy heuristics. The superior performance of MDRTs are demonstrated on both synthetic and real datasets.