PAC^m-Bayes: Narrowing the Empirical Risk Gap in the Misspecified Bayesian Regime

10/19/2020
by   Warren R. Morningstar, et al.
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While the decision-theoretic optimality of the Bayesian formalism under correct model specification is well-known (Berger 2013), the Bayesian case becomes less clear under model misspecification (Grunwald 2017; Ramamoorthi 2015; Fushiki 2005). To formally understand the consequences of Bayesian misspecification, this work examines the relationship between posterior predictive risk and its sensitivity to correct model assumptions, i.e., choice of likelihood and prior. We present the multisample PAC^m-Bayes risk. This risk is justified by theoretical analysis based on PAC-Bayes as well as empirical study on a number of toy problems. The PAC^m-Bayes risk is appealing in that it entails direct minimization of the Monte-Carlo approximated posterior predictive risk yet recovers both the Bayesian formalism as well as the MLE in its limits. Our work is heavily influenced by Masegosa (2019); our contributions are to align training and generalization risks while offering a tighter bound which empirically performs at least as well and sometimes much better.

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