Wasserstein Logistic Regression with Mixed Features

Aras Selvi · Mohammad Reza Belbasi · Martin Haugh · Wolfram Wiesemann

Hall J #726

Keywords: [ Distributionally Robust Optimization ] [ logistic regression ] [ wasserstein distance ]


Recent work has leveraged the popular distributionally robust optimization paradigm to combat overfitting in classical logistic regression. While the resulting classification scheme displays a promising performance in numerical experiments, it is inherently limited to numerical features. In this paper, we show that distributionally robust logistic regression with mixed (\emph{i.e.}, numerical and categorical) features, despite amounting to an optimization problem of exponential size, admits a polynomial-time solution scheme. We subsequently develop a practically efficient cutting plane approach that solves the problem as a sequence of polynomial-time solvable exponential conic programs. Our method retains many of the desirable theoretical features of previous works, but---in contrast to the literature---it does not admit an equivalent representation as a regularized logistic regression, that is, it represents a genuinely novel variant of the logistic regression problem. We show that our method outperforms both the unregularized and the regularized logistic regression on categorical as well as mixed-feature benchmark instances.

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