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Abstract:Popular iterative algorithms such as boosting methods and coordinate descent on linear models converge to the maximum $\ell_1$-margin classifier, a.k.a. sparse hard-margin SVM, in high dimensional regimes where the data is linearly separable. Previous works consistently show that many estimators relying on the $\ell_1$-norm achieve improved statistical rates for hard sparse ground truths. We show that surprisingly, this adaptivity does not apply to the maximum $\ell_1$-margin classifier for a standard discriminative setting. In particular, for the noiseless setting, we prove tight upper and lower bounds for the prediction error that match existing rates of order $\frac{\|\wgt\|_1^{2/3}}{n^{1/3}}$ for general ground truths. To complete the picture, we show that when interpolating noisy observations, the error vanishes at a rate of order $\frac{1}{\sqrt{\log(d/n)}}$. We are therefore first to show benign overfitting for the maximum $\ell_1$-margin classifier.