From Classical Regression to the Modern Regime: Surprises for Linear Least Squares Problems

Friday, January 12, 2024 - 15:00 to 16:00

704 Thackeray Hall

Speaker Information
Rishi Sonthalia

Abstract or Additional Information

Linear regression is a problem that has been extensively studied. However, modern machine learning has brought to light many new and exciting phenomena due to overparameterization. In this talk, I briefly introduce the new phenomena observed in recent years. Then, building on this, I present recent theory work on linear denoising. Despite the importance of denoising in modern machine learning and ample empirical work on supervised denoising, its theoretical understanding is still relatively scarce. One concern about studying supervised denoising is that one might not always have noiseless training data from the test distribution. It is more reasonable to have access to noiseless training data from a different dataset than the test dataset. Motivated by this, we study supervised denoising and noisy-input regression under distribution shift. 

For this setting, we derive general test error expressions for both denoising and noisy-input regression and study when overfitting the noise is benign, tempered, or catastrophic. We show that the test error exhibits double descent under general distribution shifts, providing insights for data augmentation and the role of noise as an implicit regularizer. We demonstrate that this setting has other surprising phenomena such as underparameterized double descent. Finally, we perform experiments using real-life data, matching the theoretical predictions with under 1% MSE error for low-rank data.