Collaborating Authors

Double/De-Biased Machine Learning Using Regularized Riesz Representers Machine Learning

We provide adaptive inference methods for linear functionals of sparse linear approximations to the conditional expectation function. Examples of such functionals include average derivatives, policy effects, average treatment effects, and many others. The construction relies on building Neyman-orthogonal equations that are approximately invariant to perturbations of the nuisance parameters, including the Riesz representer for the linear functionals. We use L1-regularized methods to learn approximations to the regression function and the Riesz representer, and construct the estimator for the linear functionals as the solution to the orthogonal estimating equations. We establish that under weak assumptions the estimator concentrates in a 1/root n neighborhood of the target with deviations controlled by the normal laws, and the estimator attains the semi-parametric efficiency bound in many cases. In particular, either the approximation to the regression function or the approximation to the Riesz representer can be "dense" as long as one of them is sufficiently "sparse". Our main results are non-asymptotic and imply asymptotic uniform validity over large classes of models.

Minimax Semiparametric Learning With Approximate Sparsity


There is a close correspondence between the minimax rate and the behavior of remainder terms in an asymptotic expansion of a doubly robust estimator around the average of the efficient influence function. A dominating remainder term is the product of the mean square norms of estimation errors for the regression and Riesz representer. Other remainder terms will be smaller order than this term. By virtue of the sum of the absolute values of the regression and Riesz representer coefficients being bounded, the estimation errors for both the regression and Riesz representer converge nearly at root-mean-square rate {ln(p)/n}1/4, as known for Lasso regression from Chatterjee and Jafarov (2015) and for the Riesz representer by Chernozhukov et al. (2018) and Chernozhukov, Newey, and Singh (2018). The minimax rate for the object of interest is ln(p)/n when max{ξ1,ξ2} 1/2, which is nearly the product of the two rates, i.e. the size of the dominating remainder.

A Simple and General Debiased Machine Learning Theorem with Finite Sample Guarantees Machine Learning

Debiased machine learning is a meta algorithm based on bias correction and sample splitting to calculate confidence intervals for functionals (i.e. scalar summaries) of machine learning algorithms. For example, an analyst may desire the confidence interval for a treatment effect estimated with a neural network. We provide a nonasymptotic debiased machine learning theorem that encompasses any global or local functional of any machine learning algorithm that satisfies a few simple, interpretable conditions. Formally, we prove consistency, Gaussian approximation, and semiparametric efficiency by finite sample arguments. The rate of convergence is root-n for global functionals, and it degrades gracefully for local functionals. Our results culminate in a simple set of conditions that an analyst can use to translate modern learning theory rates into traditional statistical inference. The conditions reveal a new double robustness property for ill posed inverse problems.

Adversarial Estimation of Riesz Representers Machine Learning

We provide an adversarial approach to estimating Riesz representers of linear functionals within arbitrary function spaces. We prove oracle inequalities based on the localized Rademacher complexity of the function space used to approximate the Riesz representer and the approximation error. These inequalities imply fast finite sample mean-squared-error rates for many function spaces of interest, such as high-dimensional sparse linear functions, neural networks and reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces. Our approach offers a new way of estimating Riesz representers with a plethora of recently introduced machine learning techniques. We show how our estimator can be used in the context of de-biasing structural/causal parameters in semi-parametric models, for automated orthogonalization of moment equations and for estimating the stochastic discount factor in the context of asset pricing.

RieszNet and ForestRiesz: Automatic Debiased Machine Learning with Neural Nets and Random Forests Machine Learning

Many causal and policy effects of interest are defined by linear functionals of high-dimensional or non-parametric regression functions. $\sqrt{n}$-consistent and asymptotically normal estimation of the object of interest requires debiasing to reduce the effects of regularization and/or model selection on the object of interest. Debiasing is typically achieved by adding a correction term to the plug-in estimator of the functional, that is derived based on a functional-specific theoretical derivation of what is known as the influence function and which leads to properties such as double robustness and Neyman orthogonality. We instead implement an automatic debiasing procedure based on automatically learning the Riesz representation of the linear functional using Neural Nets and Random Forests. Our method solely requires value query oracle access to the linear functional. We propose a multi-tasking Neural Net debiasing method with stochastic gradient descent minimization of a combined Riesz representer and regression loss, while sharing representation layers for the two functions. We also propose a Random Forest method which learns a locally linear representation of the Riesz function. Even though our methodology applies to arbitrary functionals, we experimentally find that it beats state of the art performance of the prior neural net based estimator of Shi et al. (2019) for the case of the average treatment effect functional. We also evaluate our method on the more challenging problem of estimating average marginal effects with continuous treatments, using semi-synthetic data of gasoline price changes on gasoline demand.