Adaptive Linear Estimating Equations

NeurIPS 2023  ·  Mufang Ying, Koulik Khamaru, Cun-Hui Zhang ·

Sequential data collection has emerged as a widely adopted technique for enhancing the efficiency of data gathering processes. Despite its advantages, such data collection mechanism often introduces complexities to the statistical inference procedure. For instance, the ordinary least squares (OLS) estimator in an adaptive linear regression model can exhibit non-normal asymptotic behavior, posing challenges for accurate inference and interpretation. In this paper, we propose a general method for constructing debiased estimator which remedies this issue. It makes use of the idea of adaptive linear estimating equations, and we establish theoretical guarantees of asymptotic normality, supplemented by discussions on achieving near-optimal asymptotic variance. A salient feature of our estimator is that in the context of multi-armed bandits, our estimator retains the non-asymptotic performance of the least square estimator while obtaining asymptotic normality property. Consequently, this work helps connect two fruitful paradigms of adaptive inference: a) non-asymptotic inference using concentration inequalities and b) asymptotic inference via asymptotic normality.

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