Translator Disclaimer
November 2020 Sparse Regression: Scalable Algorithms and Empirical Performance
Dimitris Bertsimas, Jean Pauphilet, Bart Van Parys
Statist. Sci. 35(4): 555-578 (November 2020). DOI: 10.1214/19-STS701


In this paper, we review state-of-the-art methods for feature selection in statistics with an application-oriented eye. Indeed, sparsity is a valuable property and the profusion of research on the topic might have provided little guidance to practitioners. We demonstrate empirically how noise and correlation impact both the accuracy—the number of correct features selected—and the false detection—the number of incorrect features selected—for five methods: the cardinality-constrained formulation, its Boolean relaxation, $\ell _{1}$ regularization and two methods with non-convex penalties. A cogent feature selection method is expected to exhibit a two-fold convergence, namely the accuracy and false detection rate should converge to $1$ and $0$ respectively, as the sample size increases. As a result, proper method should recover all and nothing but true features. Empirically, the integer optimization formulation and its Boolean relaxation are the closest to exhibit this two properties consistently in various regimes of noise and correlation. In addition, apart from the discrete optimization approach which requires a substantial, yet often affordable, computational time, all methods terminate in times comparable with the glmnet package for Lasso. We released code for methods that were not publicly implemented. Jointly considered, accuracy, false detection and computational time provide a comprehensive assessment of each feature selection method and shed light on alternatives to the Lasso-regularization which are not as popular in practice yet.


Download Citation

Dimitris Bertsimas. Jean Pauphilet. Bart Van Parys. "Sparse Regression: Scalable Algorithms and Empirical Performance." Statist. Sci. 35 (4) 555 - 578, November 2020.


Published: November 2020
First available in Project Euclid: 17 November 2020

MathSciNet: MR4175381
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/19-STS701

Keywords: Feature selection

Rights: Copyright © 2020 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.

Vol.35 • No. 4 • November 2020
Back to Top