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Minimax Nonparametric Two-sample Test

by   Xin Xing, et al.

We consider the problem of comparing probability densities between two groups. To model the complex pattern of the underlying densities, we formulate the problem as a nonparametric density hypothesis testing problem. The major difficulty is that conventional tests may fail to distinguish the alternative from the null hypothesis under the controlled type I error. In this paper, we model log-transformed densities in a tensor product reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) and propose a probabilistic decomposition of this space. Under such a decomposition, we quantify the difference of the densities between two groups by the component norm in the probabilistic decomposition. Based on the Bernstein width, a sharp minimax lower bound of the distinguishable rate is established for the nonparametric two-sample test. We then propose a penalized likelihood ratio (PLR) test possessing the Wilks' phenomenon with an asymptotically Chi-square distributed test statistic and achieving the established minimax testing rate. Simulations and real applications demonstrate that the proposed test outperforms the conventional approaches under various scenarios.


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