A tight excess risk bound via a unified PAC-Bayesian-Rademacher-Shtarkov-MDL complexity
We present a novel notion of complexity that interpolates between and generalizes some classic existing complexity notions in learning theory: for estimators like empirical risk minimization (ERM) with arbitrary bounded losses, it is upper bounded in terms of data-independent Rademacher complexity; for generalized Bayesian estimators, it is upper bounded by the data-dependent information complexity (also known as stochastic or PAC-Bayesian, KL(posterior∥prior) complexity. For (penalized) ERM, the new complexity reduces to (generalized) normalized maximum likelihood (NML) complexity, i.e. a minimax log-loss individual-sequence regret. Our first main result bounds excess risk in terms of the new complexity. Our second main result links the new complexity via Rademacher complexity to L2(P) entropy, thereby generalizing earlier results of Opper, Haussler, Lugosi, and Cesa-Bianchi who did the log-loss case with L∞. Together, these results recover optimal bounds for VC- and large (polynomial entropy) classes, replacing localized Rademacher complexity by a simpler analysis which almost completely separates the two aspects that determine the achievable rates: 'easiness' (Bernstein) conditions and model complexity.
Grünwald, P.D, & Mehta, N.A. (2017). A tight excess risk bound via a unified PAC-Bayesian-Rademacher-Shtarkov-MDL complexity.