Unified Sample-Optimal Property Estimation in Near-Linear Time

11/08/2019
by   Yi Hao, et al.
0

We consider the fundamental learning problem of estimating properties of distributions over large domains. Using a novel piecewise-polynomial approximation technique, we derive the first unified methodology for constructing sample- and time-efficient estimators for all sufficiently smooth, symmetric and non-symmetric, additive properties. This technique yields near-linear-time computable estimators whose approximation values are asymptotically optimal and highly-concentrated, resulting in the first: 1) estimators achieving the O(k/(ε^2log k)) min-max ε-error sample complexity for all k-symbol Lipschitz properties; 2) unified near-optimal differentially private estimators for a variety of properties; 3) unified estimator achieving optimal bias and near-optimal variance for five important properties; 4) near-optimal sample-complexity estimators for several important symmetric properties over both domain sizes and confidence levels. In addition, we establish a McDiarmid's inequality under Poisson sampling, which is of independent interest.

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