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Yuval Dagan, Constantinos Daskalakis, Maxwell Fishelson, Noah Golowich, Robert Kleinberg, Princewill Okoroafor

A set of probabilistic forecasts is calibrated if each prediction of the forecaster closely approximates the empirical distribution of outcomes on the subset of timesteps where that prediction was made. We study the fundamental problem of online calibrated forecasting of binary sequences, which was initially studied by Foster & Vohra (1998). They derived an algorithm with $O(T^{2/3})$ calibration error after $T$ time steps, and showed a lower bound of $\Omega(T^{1/2})$. These bounds remained stagnant for two decades, until Qiao & Valiant (2021) improved the lower bound to $\Omega(T^{0.528})$ by introducing a combinatorial game called sign preservation and showing that lower bounds for this game imply lower bounds for calibration. We introduce a strengthening of Qiao & Valiant's game that we call sign preservation with reuse (SPR). We prove that the relationship between SPR and calibrated forecasting is bidirectional: not only do lower bounds for SPR translate into lower bounds for calibration, but algorithms for SPR also translate into new algorithms for calibrated forecasting. In particular, any strategy that improves the trivial upper bound for the value of the SPR game would imply a forecasting algorithm with calibration error exponent less than 2/3, improving Foster & Vohra's upper bound for the first time. Using similar ideas, we then prove a slightly stronger lower bound than that of Qiao & Valiant, namely $\Omega(T^{0.54389})$. Our lower bound is obtained by an oblivious adversary, marking the first $\omega(T^{1/2})$ calibration lower bound for oblivious adversaries.

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We provide a novel reduction from swap-regret minimization to external-regret minimization, which improves upon the classical reductions of Blum-Mansour [BM07] and Stolz-Lugosi [SL05] in that it does not require finiteness of the space of actions. We show that, whenever there exists a no-external-regret algorithm for some hypothesis class, there must also exist a no-swap-regret algorithm for that same class. For the problem of learning with expert advice, our result implies that it is possible to guarantee that the swap regret is bounded by {\epsilon} after $\log(N)^{O(1/\epsilon)}$ rounds and with $O(N)$ per iteration complexity, where $N$ is the number of experts, while the classical reductions of Blum-Mansour and Stolz-Lugosi require $O(N/\epsilon^2)$ rounds and at least $\Omega(N^2)$ per iteration complexity. Our result comes with an associated lower bound, which -- in contrast to that in [BM07] -- holds for oblivious and $\ell_1$-constrained adversaries and learners that can employ distributions over experts, showing that the number of rounds must be $\tilde\Omega(N/\epsilon^2)$ or exponential in $1/\epsilon$. Our reduction implies that, if no-regret learning is possible in some game, then this game must have approximate correlated equilibria, of arbitrarily good approximation. This strengthens the folklore implication of no-regret learning that approximate coarse correlated equilibria exist. Importantly, it provides a sufficient condition for the existence of correlated equilibrium which vastly extends the requirement that the action set is finite, thus answering a question left open by [DG22; Ass+23]. Moreover, it answers several outstanding questions about equilibrium computation and/or learning in games.

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While ERM suffices to attain near-optimal generalization error in the stochastic learning setting, this is not known to be the case in the online learning setting, where algorithms for general concept classes rely on computationally inefficient oracles such as the Standard Optimal Algorithm (SOA). In this work, we propose an algorithm for online binary classification setting that relies solely on ERM oracle calls, and show that it has finite regret in the realizable setting and sublinearly growing regret in the agnostic setting. We bound the regret in terms of the Littlestone and threshold dimensions of the underlying concept class. We obtain similar results for nonparametric games, where the ERM oracle can be interpreted as a best response oracle, finding the best response of a player to a given history of play of the other players. In this setting, we provide learning algorithms that only rely on best response oracles and converge to approximate-minimax equilibria in two-player zero-sum games and approximate coarse correlated equilibria in multi-player general-sum games, as long as the game has a bounded fat-threshold dimension. Our algorithms apply to both binary-valued and real-valued games and can be viewed as providing justification for the wide use of double oracle and multiple oracle algorithms in the practice of solving large games.

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We present the first diffusion-based framework that can learn an unknown distribution using only highly-corrupted samples. This problem arises in scientific applications where access to uncorrupted samples is impossible or expensive to acquire. Another benefit of our approach is the ability to train generative models that are less likely to memorize individual training samples since they never observe clean training data. Our main idea is to introduce additional measurement distortion during the diffusion process and require the model to predict the original corrupted image from the further corrupted image. We prove that our method leads to models that learn the conditional expectation of the full uncorrupted image given this additional measurement corruption. This holds for any corruption process that satisfies some technical conditions (and in particular includes inpainting and compressed sensing). We train models on standard benchmarks (CelebA, CIFAR-10 and AFHQ) and show that we can learn the distribution even when all the training samples have $90\%$ of their pixels missing. We also show that we can finetune foundation models on small corrupted datasets (e.g. MRI scans with block corruptions) and learn the clean distribution without memorizing the training set.

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Imperfect score-matching leads to a shift between the training and the sampling distribution of diffusion models. Due to the recursive nature of the generation process, errors in previous steps yield sampling iterates that drift away from the training distribution. Yet, the standard training objective via Denoising Score Matching (DSM) is only designed to optimize over non-drifted data. To train on drifted data, we propose to enforce a \emph{consistency} property which states that predictions of the model on its own generated data are consistent across time. Theoretically, we show that if the score is learned perfectly on some non-drifted points (via DSM) and if the consistency property is enforced everywhere, then the score is learned accurately everywhere. Empirically we show that our novel training objective yields state-of-the-art results for conditional and unconditional generation in CIFAR-10 and baseline improvements in AFHQ and FFHQ. We open-source our code and models: https://github.com/giannisdaras/cdm

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We study the optimization landscape of the log-likelihood function and the convergence of the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm in latent Gaussian tree models, i.e. tree-structured Gaussian graphical models whose leaf nodes are observable and non-leaf nodes are unobservable. We show that the unique non-trivial stationary point of the population log-likelihood is its global maximum, and establish that the expectation-maximization algorithm is guaranteed to converge to it in the single latent variable case. Our results for the landscape of the log-likelihood function in general latent tree models provide support for the extensive practical use of maximum likelihood based-methods in this setting. Our results for the EM algorithm extend an emerging line of work on obtaining global convergence guarantees for this celebrated algorithm. We show our results for the non-trivial stationary points of the log-likelihood by arguing that a certain system of polynomial equations obtained from the EM updates has a unique non-trivial solution. The global convergence of the EM algorithm follows by arguing that all trivial fixed points are higher-order saddle points.

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We provide time- and sample-efficient algorithms for learning and testing latent-tree Ising models, i.e. Ising models that may only be observed at their leaf nodes. On the learning side, we obtain efficient algorithms for learning a tree-structured Ising model whose leaf node distribution is close in Total Variation Distance, improving on the results of prior work. On the testing side, we provide an efficient algorithm with fewer samples for testing whether two latent-tree Ising models have leaf-node distributions that are close or far in Total Variation distance. We obtain our algorithms by showing novel localization results for the total variation distance between the leaf-node distributions of tree-structured Ising models, in terms of their marginals on pairs of leaves.

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We prove fast mixing and characterize the stationary distribution of the Langevin Algorithm for inverting random weighted DNN generators. This result extends the work of Hand and Voroninski from efficient inversion to efficient posterior sampling. In practice, to allow for increased expressivity, we propose to do posterior sampling in the latent space of a pre-trained generative model. To achieve that, we train a score-based model in the latent space of a StyleGAN-2 and we use it to solve inverse problems. Our framework, Score-Guided Intermediate Layer Optimization (SGILO), extends prior work by replacing the sparsity regularization with a generative prior in the intermediate layer. Experimentally, we obtain significant improvements over the previous state-of-the-art, especially in the low measurement regime.

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Much of modern learning theory has been split between two regimes: the classical offline setting, where data arrive independently, and the online setting, where data arrive adversarially. While the former model is often both computationally and statistically tractable, the latter requires no distributional assumptions. In an attempt to achieve the best of both worlds, previous work proposed the smooth online setting where each sample is drawn from an adversarially chosen distribution, which is smooth, i.e., it has a bounded density with respect to a fixed dominating measure. We provide tight bounds on the minimax regret of learning a nonparametric function class, with nearly optimal dependence on both the horizon and smoothness parameters. Furthermore, we provide the first oracle-efficient, no-regret algorithms in this setting. In particular, we propose an oracle-efficient improper algorithm whose regret achieves optimal dependence on the horizon and a proper algorithm requiring only a single oracle call per round whose regret has the optimal horizon dependence in the classification setting and is sublinear in general. Both algorithms have exponentially worse dependence on the smoothness parameter of the adversary than the minimax rate. We then prove a lower bound on the oracle complexity of any proper learning algorithm, which matches the oracle-efficient upper bounds up to a polynomial factor, thus demonstrating the existence of a statistical-computational gap in smooth online learning. Finally, we apply our results to the contextual bandit setting to show that if a function class is learnable in the classical setting, then there is an oracle-efficient, no-regret algorithm for contextual bandits in the case that contexts arrive in a smooth manner.

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We consider a general statistical estimation problem wherein binary labels across different observations are not independent conditioned on their feature vectors, but dependent, capturing settings where e.g. these observations are collected on a spatial domain, a temporal domain, or a social network, which induce dependencies. We model these dependencies in the language of Markov Random Fields and, importantly, allow these dependencies to be substantial, i.e do not assume that the Markov Random Field capturing these dependencies is in high temperature. As our main contribution we provide algorithms and statistically efficient estimation rates for this model, giving several instantiations of our bounds in logistic regression, sparse logistic regression, and neural network settings with dependent data. Our estimation guarantees follow from novel results for estimating the parameters (i.e. external fields and interaction strengths) of Ising models from a {\em single} sample. {We evaluate our estimation approach on real networked data, showing that it outperforms standard regression approaches that ignore dependencies, across three text classification datasets: Cora, Citeseer and Pubmed.}

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