Tukey's halfspace depth can be seen as a stochastic program and as such it is not guarded against optimizer's curse, so that a limited training sample may easily result in a poor out-of-sample performance. We propose a generalized halfspace depth concept relying on the recent advances in distributionally robust optimization, where every halfspace is examined using the respective worst-case distribution in the Wasserstein ball of a positive radius centered at the empirical law. This new depth can be seen as a smoothed and regularized classical halfspace depth which is retrieved as the ball's radius tends towards zero. It inherits most of the main properties of the latter and, additionally, enjoys various new attractive features such as continuity and strict positivity beyond the convex hull of the support. We provide numerical illustrations of the new depth and its advantages, and develop some fundamental theory. In particular, we study the upper level sets and the median region including their breakdown properties.


Pavlo Mozharovskyi 

Research Area

Statistics seminar


Institut Polytechnique de Paris


Friday,5 April 2024, 4:00 pm


Microsoft Teams