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Statistics Seminar

Likelihood-Free Frequentist Inference: Confidence Sets with Correct Conditional Coverage Presented by Ann Lee Department of Statistics and Data Science, Carnegie Mellon University

Event Details

Wednesday, March 9, 2022
4-5 p.m.

Abstract: Many areas of science make extensive use of computer simulators that implicitly encode likelihood functions of complex systems. Classical statistical methods are poorly suited for these so-called likelihood-free inference (LFI) settings, outside the asymptotic and low-dimensional regimes. Although new machine learning methods, such as normalizing flows, have revolutionized the sample efficiency and capacity of LFI methods, it remains an open question whether they produce confidence sets with correct conditional coverage. In this talk, I will describe our group's recent and ongoing research on developing scalable and modular procedures for (i) constructing Neyman confidence sets with finite-sample guarantees of nominal coverage, and for (ii) computing diagnostics that estimate conditional coverage over the entire parameter space. We refer to our framework as likelihood-free frequentist inference (LF2I). Any method that defines a test statistic, like the likelihood ratio, can be adapted to LF2I to create valid confidence sets and diagnostics, without costly Monte Carlo samples at fixed parameter settings. In my talk, I will discuss where we stand with LF2I and challenges that still remain. (Part of these efforts are joint with Niccolo Dalmasso, Rafael Izbicki, Luca Masserano, Tommaso Dorigo, Mikael Kuusela, and David Zhao. An earlier version of this work can be found on arXiv:2107.03920)