WNCG Seminar Series: Testing Properties of Distributions

Wednesday, October 07, 2015
UTA 7.532

Abstract: Given samples from an unknown distribution, p, is it possible to distinguish whether p belongs to some class of distributions C versus p being far from every distribution in C, by at least ε in total variation distance? This fundamental question has received substantial attention in Statistics and Computer Science. Nevertheless, even for basic classes of distributions such as monotone, log-concave, unimodal, or product, the optimal sample complexity is unknown. We provide optimal testers for these families.

(joint work with Jayadev Acharya and Gautam Kamath).
Watch the full presentation on the WNCG YouTube Channel. 


Associate Professor
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Constantinos Daskalakis is the x-window consortium associate professor of computer science at MIT. He holds a diploma in electrical and computer engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer sciences from UC-Berkeley. His research interests lie in theoretical computer science and its interface with economics and probability. Daskalakis has been honored with the 2007 Microsoft Graduate Research Fellowship, the 2008 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award, the Game Theory and Computer Science Prize from the Game Theory Society, the 2010 Sloan Fellowship in Computer Science, the 2011 SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize, the 2011 Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the 2012 Microsoft Research Faculty Fellowship. He is also a recipient of Best Paper awards at the ACM Conference on Economics and Computation in 2006 and in 2013.