Consistency of weighted majority votes

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

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Authors

Daniel Berend, Aryeh Kontorovich

Abstract

<p>We revisit from a statistical learning perspective the classical decision-theoretic problem of weighted expert voting. In particular, we examine the consistency (both asymptotic and finitary) of the optimal Nitzan-Paroush weighted majority and related rules. In the case of known expert competence levels, we give sharp error estimates for the optimal rule. When the competence levels are unknown, they must be empirically estimated. We provide frequentist and Bayesian analyses for this situation. Some of our proof techniques are non-standard and may be of independent interest. The bounds we derive are nearly optimal, and several challenging open problems are posed. Experimental results are provided to illustrate the theory.</p>