Publication
CACM
Review

Guilt-free data reuse

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Abstract

Existing approaches to ensuring the validity of inferences drawn from data assume a fxed procedure to be performed, selected before the data are examined. Yet the practice of data analysis is an intrinsically interactive and adaptive process: new analyses and hypotheses are proposed after seeing the results of previous ones, parameters are tuned on the basis of obtained results, and datasets are shared and reused. In this work, we initiate a principled study of how to guarantee the validity of statistical inference in adaptive data analysis. We demonstrate new approaches for addressing the challenges of adaptivity that are based on techniques developed in privacy-preserving data analysis. As an application of our techniques we give a simple and practical method for reusing a holdout (or testing) set to validate the accuracy of hypotheses produced adaptively by a learning algorithm operating on a training set.

Date

01 Apr 2017

Publication

CACM

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