Fast learning rates with heavy-tailed losses

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 29 (NIPS 2016)

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Vu C. Dinh, Lam S. Ho, Binh Nguyen, Duy Nguyen


We study fast learning rates when the losses are not necessarily bounded and may have a distribution with heavy tails. To enable such analyses, we introduce two new conditions: (i) the envelope function $\sup_{f \in \mathcal{F}}|\ell \circ f|$, where $\ell$ is the loss function and $\mathcal{F}$ is the hypothesis class, exists and is $L^r$-integrable, and (ii) $\ell$ satisfies the multi-scale Bernstein's condition on $\mathcal{F}$. Under these assumptions, we prove that learning rate faster than $O(n^{-1/2})$ can be obtained and, depending on $r$ and the multi-scale Bernstein's powers, can be arbitrarily close to $O(n^{-1})$. We then verify these assumptions and derive fast learning rates for the problem of vector quantization by $k$-means clustering with heavy-tailed distributions. The analyses enable us to obtain novel learning rates that extend and complement existing results in the literature from both theoretical and practical viewpoints.