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Poster
Estimation Beyond Data Reweighting: Kernel Method of Moments
Heiner Kremer · Yassine Nemmour · Bernhard Schölkopf · Jia-Jie Zhu

Tue Jul 25 05:00 PM -- 06:30 PM (PDT) @ Exhibit Hall 1 #741
Moment restrictions and their conditional counterparts emerge in many areas of machine learning and statistics ranging from causal inference to reinforcement learning. Estimators for these tasks, generally called methods of moments, include the prominent generalized method of moments (GMM) which has recently gained attention in causal inference. GMM is a special case of the broader family of empirical likelihood estimators which are based on approximating a population distribution by means of minimizing a $\varphi$-divergence to an empirical distribution. However, the use of $\varphi$-divergences effectively limits the candidate distributions to reweightings of the data samples. We lift this long-standing limitation and provide a method of moments that goes beyond data reweighting. This is achieved by defining an empirical likelihood estimator based on maximum mean discrepancy which we term the kernel method of moments (KMM). We provide a variant of our estimator for conditional moment restrictions and show that it is asymptotically first-order optimal for such problems. Finally, we show that our method achieves competitive performance on several conditional moment restriction tasks.

Author Information

Heiner Kremer (MPI for Intelligent Systems, Tübingen)
Yassine Nemmour (Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems)
Bernhard Schölkopf (MPI for Intelligent Systems Tübingen, Germany)

Bernhard Scholkopf received degrees in mathematics (London) and physics (Tubingen), and a doctorate in computer science from the Technical University Berlin. He has researched at AT&T Bell Labs, at GMD FIRST, Berlin, at the Australian National University, Canberra, and at Microsoft Research Cambridge (UK). In 2001, he was appointed scientific member of the Max Planck Society and director at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics; in 2010 he founded the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. For further information, see www.kyb.tuebingen.mpg.de/~bs.

Jia-Jie Zhu (Weierstrass-Institute-Berlin)

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