Robustness of reweighted least squares kernel based regressionRobustness of reweighted least squares kernel based regression
Faculty of Sciences. Mathematics and Computer Science
Department of Mathematics - Computer Sciences
2009New York, N.Y., 2009
Journal of multivariate analysis. - New York, N.Y.
101(2009):2, p. 447-463
University of Antwerp
Kernel Based Regression (KBR) minimizes a convex risk over a possibly infinite dimensional reproducing kernel Hilbert space. Recently, it was shown that KBR with a least squares loss function may have some undesirable properties from a robustness point of view: even very small amounts of outliers can dramatically affect the estimates. KBR with other loss functions is more robust, but often gives rise to more complicated computations (e.g. for Huber or logistic losses). In classical statistics robustness is often improved by reweighting the original estimate. In this paper we provide a theoretical framework for reweighted Least Squares KBR (LS-KBR) and analyze its robustness. Some important differences are found with respect to linear regression, indicating that LS-KBR with a bounded kernel is much more suited for reweighting. In two special cases our results can be translated into practical guidelines for a good choice of weights, providing robustness as well as fast convergence. In particular a logistic weight function seems an appropriate choice, not only to downweight outliers, but also to improve performance at heavy tailed distributions. For the latter some heuristic arguments are given comparing concepts from robustness and stability.