Asymptotics of Cross-Validation

01/29/2020 ∙ by Morgane Austern, et al. ∙ 0

Cross validation is a central tool in evaluating the performance of machine learning and statistical models. However, despite its ubiquitous role, its theoretical properties are still not well understood. We study the asymptotic properties of the cross validated-risk for a large class of models. Under stability conditions, we establish a central limit theorem and Berry-Esseen bounds, which enable us to compute asymptotically accurate confidence intervals. Using our results, we paint a big picture for the statistical speed-up of cross validation compared to a train-test split procedure. A corollary of our results is that parametric M-estimators (or empirical risk minimizers) benefit from the "full" speed-up when performing cross-validation under the training loss. In other common cases, such as when the training is done using a surrogate loss or a regularizer, we show that the behavior of the cross-validated risk is complex with a variance reduction which may be smaller or larger than the "full" speed-up, depending on the model and the underlying distribution. We allow the number of folds to grow with the number of observations at any rate.

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