The Statistical Cost of Robust Kernel Hyperparameter Turning

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

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Raphael Meyer, Christopher Musco


<p>This paper studies the statistical complexity of kernel hyperparameter tuning in the setting of active regression under adversarial noise. We consider the problem of finding the best interpolant from a class of kernels with unknown hyperparameters, assuming only that the noise is square-integrable. We provide finite-sample guarantees for the problem, characterizing how increasing the complexity of the kernel class increases the complexity of learning kernel hyperparameters. For common kernel classes (e.g. squared-exponential kernels with unknown lengthscale), our results show that hyperparameter optimization increases sample complexity by just a logarithmic factor, in comparison to the setting where optimal parameters are known in advance. Our result is based on a subsampling guarantee for linear regression under multiple design matrices which may be of independent interest.</p>