KnockoffGAN: Generating Knockoffs for Feature Selection using Generative Adversarial Networks

James Jordon, Jinsung Yoon, Mihaela van der Schaar

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: Feature selection is a pervasive problem. The discovery of relevant features can be as important for performing a particular task (such as to avoid overfitting in prediction) as it can be for understanding the underlying processes governing the true label (such as discovering relevant genetic factors for a disease). Machine learning driven feature selection can enable discovery from large, high-dimensional, non-linear observational datasets by creating a subset of features for experts to focus on. In order to use expert time most efficiently, we need a principled methodology capable of controlling the False Discovery Rate. In this work, we build on the promising Knockoff framework by developing a flexible knockoff generation model. We adapt the Generative Adversarial Networks framework to allow us to generate knockoffs with no assumptions on the feature distribution. Our model consists of 4 networks, a generator, a discriminator, a stability network and a power network. We demonstrate the capability of our model to perform feature selection, showing that it performs as well as the originally proposed knockoff generation model in the Gaussian setting and that it outperforms the original model in non-Gaussian settings, including on a real-world dataset.
  • Keywords: Knockoff model, Feature selection, False discovery rate control, Generative Adversarial networks
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