DOI: 10.1093/biomet/asad046 ISSN: 0006-3444

Online inference with debiased stochastic gradient descent

Ruijian Han, Lan Luo, Yuanyuan Lin, Jian Huang
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Mathematics
  • Statistics and Probability


We propose a debiased stochastic gradient descent algorithm for online statistical inference with high-dimensional data. Our approach combines the debiasing technique developed in high-dimensional statistics with the stochastic gradient descent algorithm. It can be used to construct confidence intervals efficiently in an online fashion. Our proposed algorithm has several appealing aspects: as a one-pass algorithm, it reduces the time complexity; in addition, each update step requires only the current data together with the previous estimate, which reduces the space complexity. We establish the asymptotic normality of the proposed estimator under mild conditions on the sparsity level of the parameter and the data distribution. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the proposed debiased stochastic gradient descent algorithm attains nominal coverage probability. Furthermore, we illustrate our method with analysis of a high-dimensional text dataset.

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