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On the Statistical Consistency of Risk-Sensitive Bayesian Decision-Making

Prateek Jaiswal · Harsha Honnappa · Vinayak Rao

Great Hall & Hall B1+B2 (level 1) #1222


We study data-driven decision-making problems in the Bayesian framework, where the expectation in the Bayes risk is replaced by a risk-sensitive entropic risk measure with respect to the posterior distribution. We focus on problems where calculating the posterior distribution is intractable, a typical situation in modern applications with large datasets and complex data generating models. We leverage a dual representation of the entropic risk measure to introduce a novel risk-sensitive variational Bayesian (RSVB) framework for jointly computing a risk-sensitive posterior approximation and the corresponding decision rule. Our general framework includes \textit{loss-calibrated} VB (Lacoste-Julien et al. [2011] ) as a special case. We also study the impact of these computational approximations on the predictive performance of the inferred decision rules. We compute the convergence rates of the RSVB approximate posterior and the corresponding optimal value. We illustrate our theoretical findings in parametric and nonparametric settings with the help of three examples.

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