Statistical Guarantees of Distributed Nearest Neighbor Classification

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2020)

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Jiexin Duan, Xingye Qiao, Guang Cheng


<p>Nearest neighbor is a popular nonparametric method for classification and regression with many appealing properties. In the big data era, the sheer volume and spatial/temporal disparity of big data may prohibit centrally processing and storing the data. This has imposed considerable hurdle for nearest neighbor predictions since the entire training data must be memorized. One effective way to overcome this issue is the distributed learning framework. Through majority voting, the distributed nearest neighbor classifier achieves the same rate of convergence as its oracle version in terms of the regret, up to a multiplicative constant that depends solely on the data dimension. The multiplicative difference can be eliminated by replacing majority voting with the weighted voting scheme. In addition, we provide sharp theoretical upper bounds of the number of subsamples in order for the distributed nearest neighbor classifier to reach the optimal convergence rate. It is interesting to note that the weighted voting scheme allows a larger number of subsamples than the majority voting one. Our findings are supported by numerical studies.</p>