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Abstract:Regression analysis is a central topic in statistical modeling, aiming to estimate the relationships between a dependent variable, commonly referred to as the response variable, and one or more independent variables, i.e., explanatory variables. Linear regression is by far the most popular method for performing this task in several fields of research, such as prediction, forecasting, or causal inference. Beyond various classical methods to solve linear regression problems, such as Ordinary Least Squares, Ridge, or Lasso regressions - which are often the foundation for more advanced machine learning (ML) techniques - the latter have been successfully applied in this scenario without a formal definition of statistical significance. At most, permutation or classical analyses based on empirical measures (e.g., residuals or accuracy) have been conducted to reflect the greater ability of ML estimations for detection. In this paper, we introduce a method, named Statistical Agnostic Regression (SAR), for evaluating the statistical significance of an ML-based linear regression based on concentration inequalities of the actual risk using the analysis of the worst case. To achieve this goal, similar to the classification problem, we define a threshold to establish that there is sufficient evidence with a probability of at least 1-eta to conclude that there is a linear relationship in the population between the explanatory (feature) and the response (label) variables. Simulations in only two dimensions demonstrate the ability of the proposed agnostic test to provide a similar analysis of variance given by the classical $F$ test for the slope parameter.

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