Non-convex penalized multitask regression using data depth-based penalties

Subhabrata Majumdar, Snigdhansu Chatterjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We propose a new class of non-convex penalties based on data depth functions for multitask sparse penalized regression. These penalties quantify the relative position of rows of the coefficient matrix from a fixed distribution centred at the origin. We derive the theoretical properties of an approximate one-step sparse estimator of the coefficient matrix using local linear approximation of the penalty function and provide an algorithm for its computation. For the orthogonal design and independent responses, the resulting thresholding rule enjoys near-minimax optimal risk performance, similar to the adaptive lasso (Zou, H (2006), ‘The adaptive lasso and its oracle properties’, Journal of the American Statistical Association, 101, 1418–1429). A simulation study and real data analysis demonstrate its effectiveness compared with some of the present methods that provide sparse solutions in multitask regression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere174
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research is partially supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under grants IIS-1029711 and DMS-1622483 and by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The first author also acknowledges the University of Minnesota Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship programme.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • data depth
  • multitask regression
  • non-convex penalty
  • sparsity


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