On Wasserstein projections

17 September 2020

We study the minimum Wasserstein distance from the empirical measure to a space of probability measures satisfying linear constraints. This statistic can naturally be used in a wide range of applications, for example, optimally choosing uncertainty sizes in distributionally robust optimization, optimal regularization, testing fairness, martingality, among many other statistical properties. We will discuss duality results which recover the celebrated Kantorovich-Rubinstein duality when the manifold is sufficiently rich and associated test statistics as the sample size increases. We illustrate how this relaxation can beat the statistical curse of dimensionality often associated to empirical Wasserstein distances.

The talk builds on joint work with S. Ghosh, Y. Kang, K. Murthy, M. Squillante, and N. Si.

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