Fused Density Estimation: Theory and Methods
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In this paper we introduce a method for nonparametric density estimation on infrastructure networks. We define fused density estimators as solutions to a total variation regularized maximum-likelihood density estimation problem. We provide theoretical support for fused density estimation by proving that the squared Hellinger rate of convergence for the estimator achieves the minimax bound over univariate densities of log-bounded variation. We reduce the original variational formulation in order to transform it into a tractable, finite-dimensional quadratic program. Because random variables the networks we consider generalizations of the univariate case, this method also provides a useful tool for univariate density estimation. Lastly, we apply this method and assess its performance on examples in the univariate and infrastructure network settings. We compare the performance of different optimization techniques to solve the problem, and use these results to inform recommendations for the computation of fused density estimators.
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