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Likelihood-Based Selection and Sharp Parameter Estimation


  • Xiaotong Shen
  • Wei Pan
  • Yunzhang Zhu


In high-dimensional data analysis, feature selection becomes one effective means for dimension reduction, which proceeds with parameter estimation. Concerning accuracy of selection and estimation, we study nonconvex constrained and regularized likelihoods in the presence of nuisance parameters. Theoretically, we show that constrained L 0 likelihood and its computational surrogate are optimal in that they achieve feature selection consistency and sharp parameter estimation, under one necessary condition required for any method to be selection consistent and to achieve sharp parameter estimation. It permits up to exponentially many candidate features. Computationally, we develop difference convex methods to implement the computational surrogate through prime and dual subproblems. These results establish a central role of L 0 constrained and regularized likelihoods in feature selection and parameter estimation involving selection. As applications of the general method and theory, we perform feature selection in linear regression and logistic regression, and estimate a precision matrix in Gaussian graphical models. In these situations, we gain a new theoretical insight and obtain favorable numerical results. Finally, we discuss an application to predict the metastasis status of breast cancer patients with their gene expression profiles. This article has online supplementary material.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaotong Shen & Wei Pan & Yunzhang Zhu, 2012. "Likelihood-Based Selection and Sharp Parameter Estimation," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 107(497), pages 223-232, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jnlasa:v:107:y:2012:i:497:p:223-232 DOI: 10.1080/01621459.2011.645783

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    Cited by:

    1. Jianqing Fan & Yuan Liao & Han Liu, 2016. "An overview of the estimation of large covariance and precision matrices," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 19(1), pages 1-32, February.
    2. Canhong Wen & Xueqin Wang & Shaoli Wang, 2015. "Laplace Error Penalty-based Variable Selection in High Dimension," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 42(3), pages 685-700, September.
    3. Xiaotong Shen & Wei Pan & Yunzhang Zhu & Hui Zhou, 2013. "On constrained and regularized high-dimensional regression," Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Springer;The Institute of Statistical Mathematics, vol. 65(5), pages 807-832, October.
    4. Kwon, Sunghoon & Oh, Seungyoung & Lee, Youngjo, 2016. "The use of random-effect models for high-dimensional variable selection problems," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 401-412.

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