Thresholding Procedures for High Dimensional Variable Selection and Statistical Estimation

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Shuheng Zhou


Given $n$ noisy samples with $p$ dimensions, where $n \ll p$, we show that the multi-stage thresholding procedures can accurately estimate a sparse vector $\beta \in \R^p$ in a linear model, under the restricted eigenvalue conditions (Bickel-Ritov-Tsybakov 09). Thus our conditions for model selection consistency are considerably weaker than what has been achieved in previous works. More importantly, this method allows very significant values of $s$, which is the number of non-zero elements in the true parameter $\beta$. For example, it works for cases where the ordinary Lasso would have failed. Finally, we show that if $X$ obeys a uniform uncertainty principle and if the true parameter is sufficiently sparse, the Gauss-Dantzig selector (Cand\{e}s-Tao 07) achieves the $\ell_2$ loss within a logarithmic factor of the ideal mean square error one would achieve with an oracle which would supply perfect information about which coordinates are non-zero and which are above the noise level, while selecting a sufficiently sparse model.