When is Importance Weighting Correction Needed for Covariate Shift Adaptation?
This paper investigates when the importance weighting (IW) correction is needed to address covariate shift, a common situation in supervised learning where the input distributions of training and test data differ. Classic results show that the IW correction is needed when the model is parametric and misspecified. In contrast, recent results indicate that the IW correction may not be necessary when the model is nonparametric and well-specified. We examine the missing case in the literature where the model is nonparametric and misspecified, and show that the IW correction is needed for obtaining the best approximation of the true unknown function for the test distribution. We do this by analyzing IW-corrected kernel ridge regression, covering a variety of settings, including parametric and nonparametric models, well-specified and misspecified settings, and arbitrary weighting functions.READ FULL TEXT