Dimension-free empirical entropy estimationDownload PDF

May 21, 2021 (edited Oct 16, 2021)NeurIPS 2021 PosterReaders: Everyone
  • Keywords: entropy, estimation, dimension-free
  • TL;DR: We give finite-sample risk bounds for estimating entropy over infinite alphabets.
  • Abstract: We seek an entropy estimator for discrete distributions with fully empirical accuracy bounds. As stated, this goal is infeasible without some prior assumptions on the distribution. We discover that a certain information moment assumption renders the problem feasible. We argue that the moment assumption is natural and, in some sense, {\em minimalistic} --- weaker than finite support or tail decay conditions. Under the moment assumption, we provide the first finite-sample entropy estimates for infinite alphabets, nearly recovering the known minimax rates. Moreover, we demonstrate that our empirical bounds are significantly sharper than the state-of-the-art bounds, for various natural distributions and non-trivial sample regimes. Along the way, we give a dimension-free analogue of the Cover-Thomas result on entropy continuity (with respect to total variation distance) for finite alphabets, which may be of independent interest.
  • Supplementary Material: zip
  • Code Of Conduct: I certify that all co-authors of this work have read and commit to adhering to the NeurIPS Statement on Ethics, Fairness, Inclusivity, and Code of Conduct.
11 Replies

Loading