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Publication# Anthony C Davison and Igor Rodionov's contribution to the Discussion of 'Estimating means of bounded random variables by betting' by Waudby-Smith and Ramdas

Abstract

We derive confidence intervals (CIs) and confidence sequences (CSs) for the classical problem of estimating a bounded mean. Our approach generalizes and improves on the celebrated Chernoff method, yielding the best closed-form "empirical-Bernstein" CSs and CIs (converging exactly to the oracle Bernstein width) as well as non-closed-form "betting" CSs and CIs. Our method combines new composite nonnegative (super) martingales with Ville's maximal inequality, with strong connections to testing by betting and the method of mixtures. We also show how these ideas can be extended to sampling without replacement. In all cases, our bounds are adaptive to the unknown variance, and empirically vastly outperform prior approaches, establishing a new state-of-the-art for four fundamental problems: CSs and CIs for bounded means, when sampling with and without replacement.

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Related concepts (29)

Confidence interval

In frequentist statistics, a confidence interval (CI) is a range of estimates for an unknown parameter. A confidence interval is computed at a designated confidence level; the 95% confidence level is most common, but other levels, such as 90% or 99%, are sometimes used. The confidence level, degree of confidence or confidence coefficient represents the long-run proportion of CIs (at the given confidence level) that theoretically contain the true value of the parameter; this is tantamount to the nominal coverage probability.

Convergence of random variables

In probability theory, there exist several different notions of convergence of random variables. The convergence of sequences of random variables to some limit random variable is an important concept in probability theory, and its applications to statistics and stochastic processes. The same concepts are known in more general mathematics as stochastic convergence and they formalize the idea that a sequence of essentially random or unpredictable events can sometimes be expected to settle down into a behavior that is essentially unchanging when items far enough into the sequence are studied.

Variance

In probability theory and statistics, variance is the squared deviation from the mean of a random variable. The variance is also often defined as the square of the standard deviation. Variance is a measure of dispersion, meaning it is a measure of how far a set of numbers is spread out from their average value. It is the second central moment of a distribution, and the covariance of the random variable with itself, and it is often represented by , , , , or .

Ontological neighbourhood

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2021