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ReTaSA: A Nonparametric Functional Estimation Approach for Addressing Continuous Target Shift

Hwanwoo Kim · Xin Zhang · Jiwei Zhao · Qinglong Tian · Qinglong Tian

Halle B #180
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Thu 9 May 7:30 a.m. PDT — 9:30 a.m. PDT

Abstract: The presence of distribution shifts poses a significant challenge for deploying modern machine learning models in real-world applications. This work focuses on the target shift problem in a regression setting (Zhang et al., 2013; Nguyen et al., 2016). More specifically, the target variable $y$ (also known as the response variable), which is continuous, has different marginal distributions in the training source and testing domain, while the conditional distribution of features $\boldsymbol{x}$ given $y$ remains the same. While most literature focuses on classification tasks with finite target space, the regression problem has an *infinite dimensional* target space, which makes many of the existing methods inapplicable. In this work, we show that the continuous target shift problem can be addressed by estimating the importance weight function from an ill-posed integral equation. We propose a nonparametric regularized approach named *ReTaSA* to solve the ill-posed integral equation and provide theoretical justification for the estimated importance weight function. The effectiveness of the proposed method has been demonstrated with extensive numerical studies on synthetic and real-world datasets.

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