Estimating divergence functionals and the likelihood ratio by penalized convex risk minimization

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 20 (NIPS 2007)

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XuanLong Nguyen, Martin J. Wainwright, Michael Jordan


We develop and analyze an algorithm for nonparametric estimation of divergence functionals and the density ratio of two probability distributions. Our method is based on a variational characterization of f-divergences, which turns the estima- tion into a penalized convex risk minimization problem. We present a derivation of our kernel-based estimation algorithm and an analysis of convergence rates for the estimator. Our simulation results demonstrate the convergence behavior of the method, which compares favorably with existing methods in the literature.