Title: Linear regression and its inference on noisy network-linked data
Authors: Tianxi Li - University of Virginia (United States) [presenting]
Can Minh Le - University of California, Davis (United States)
Abstract: Linear regression on network-linked observations has been an essential tool in modeling the relationship between response and covariates with additional network structures. Previous methods either lack inference tools or rely on restrictive assumptions on social effects and usually assume that networks are observed without errors. A regression model with nonparametric network effects is proposed. The model does not assume that the relational data or network structure is exactly observed and can be provably robust to network perturbations. Asymptotic inference framework is established under a general requirement of the network observational errors, and the robustness of this method is studied in the specific setting when the errors come from random network models. We discover a phase-transition phenomenon of the inference validity concerning the network density when no prior knowledge of the network model is available while also showing a significant improvement achieved by knowing the network model. Simulation studies are conducted to verify these theoretical results and demonstrate the advantage of the proposed method over existing work in terms of accuracy and computational efficiency under different data-generating models. The method is then applied to middle school students' network data to study the effectiveness of educational workshops in reducing school conflicts.