Google Research

Data Enriched Linear Regression

Electronic Journal of Statistics, vol. 9 (2015), pp. 1078-1112 (to appear)


We present a linear regression method for predictions on a small data set making use of a second possibly biased data set that may be much larger. Our method fits linear regressions to the two data sets while penalizing the difference between predictions made by those two models. The resulting algorithm is a shrinkage method similar to those used in small area estimation. We find a Stein-type result for Gaussian responses: when the model has 5 or more coefficients and 10 or more error degrees of freedom, it becomes inadmissible to use only the small data set, no matter how large the bias is. We also present both plug-in and AICc-based methods to tune our penalty parameter. Most of our results use an L2 penalty, but we obtain formulas for L1 penalized estimates when the model is specialized to the location setting. Ordinary Stein shrinkage provides an inadmissibility result for only 3 or more coefficients, but we find that our shrinkage method typically produces much lower squared errors in as few as 5 or 10 dimensions when the bias is small and essentially equivalent squared errors when the bias is large.

Learn more about how we do research

We maintain a portfolio of research projects, providing individuals and teams the freedom to emphasize specific types of work