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Composite Goodness-of-fit Tests with Kernels
Oscar Key · Tamara Fernandez · Arthur Gretton · Francois-Xavier Briol

Model misspecification can create significant challenges for the implementation of probabilistic models, and this has led to development of a range of inference methods which directly account for this issue. However, whether these more involved methods are required will depend on whether the model is really misspecified, and there is a lack of generally applicable methods to answer this question. One set of tools which can help are goodness-of-fit tests, where we test whether a dataset could have been generated by a fixed distribution. Kernel-based tests have been developed to for this problem, and these are popular due to their flexibility, strong theoretical guarantees and ease of implementation in a wide range of scenarios. In this paper, we extend this line of work to the more challenging composite goodness-of-fit problem, where we are instead interested in whether the data comes from any distribution in some parametric family. This is equivalent to testing whether a parametric model is well-specified for the data.

Author Information

Oscar Key (University College London)
Tamara Fernandez (University College London)
Arthur Gretton (Gatsby Unit, UCL)

Arthur Gretton is a Professor with the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit at UCL. He received degrees in Physics and Systems Engineering from the Australian National University, and a PhD with Microsoft Research and the Signal Processing and Communications Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. He previously worked at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics, and at the Machine Learning Department, Carnegie Mellon University. Arthur's recent research interests in machine learning include the design and training of generative models, both implicit (e.g. GANs) and explicit (high/infinite dimensional exponential family models), nonparametric hypothesis testing, and kernel methods. He has been an associate editor at IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence from 2009 to 2013, an Action Editor for JMLR since April 2013, an Area Chair for NeurIPS in 2008 and 2009, a Senior Area Chair for NeurIPS in 2018, an Area Chair for ICML in 2011 and 2012, and a member of the COLT Program Committee in 2013. Arthur was program chair for AISTATS in 2016 (with Christian Robert), tutorials chair for ICML 2018 (with Ruslan Salakhutdinov), workshops chair for ICML 2019 (with Honglak Lee), program chair for the Dali workshop in 2019 (with Krikamol Muandet and Shakir Mohammed), and co-organsier of the Machine Learning Summer School 2019 in London (with Marc Deisenroth).

Francois-Xavier Briol (Alan Turing Institute)

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