Deep Quantile Aggregation

02/26/2021 ∙ by Taesup Kim, et al. ∙ 0

Conditional quantile estimation is a key statistical learning challenge motivated by the need to quantify uncertainty in predictions or to model a diverse population without being overly reductive. As such, many models have been developed for this problem. Adopting a meta viewpoint, we propose a general framework (inspired by neural network optimization) for aggregating any number of conditional quantile models in order to boost predictive accuracy. We consider weighted ensembling strategies of increasing flexibility where the weights may vary over individual models, quantile levels, and feature values. An appeal of our approach is its portability: we ensure that estimated quantiles at adjacent levels do not cross by applying simple transformations through which gradients can be backpropagated, and this allows us to leverage the modern deep learning toolkit for building quantile ensembles. Our experiments confirm that ensembling can lead to big gains in accuracy, even when the constituent models are themselves powerful and flexible.

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