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Estimating regression errors without ground truth values

by   Henri Tiittanen, et al.

Regression analysis is a standard supervised machine learning method used to model an outcome variable in terms of a set of predictor variables. In most real-world applications we do not know the true value of the outcome variable being predicted outside the training data, i.e., the ground truth is unknown. It is hence not straightforward to directly observe when the estimate from a model potentially is wrong, due to phenomena such as overfitting and concept drift. In this paper we present an efficient framework for estimating the generalization error of regression functions, applicable to any family of regression functions when the ground truth is unknown. We present a theoretical derivation of the framework and empirically evaluate its strengths and limitations. We find that it performs robustly and is useful for detecting concept drift in datasets in several real-world domains.


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