Nonparametric Scoring Rules
Keywords:Scoring rules, Nonparametric score, Kernel density estimation
A scoring rule is a device for eliciting and assessing probabilistic forecasts from an agent. When dealing with continuous outcome spaces, and absent any prior insights into the structure of the agent's beliefs, the rule should allow for a flexible reporting interface that can accurately represent complicated, multi-modal distributions. In this paper, we provide such a scoring rule based on a nonparametric approach of eliciting a set of samples from the agent and efficiently evaluating the score using kernel methods. We prove that sampled reports of increasing size converge rapidly to the true score, and that sampled reports are approximately optimal. We also demonstrate a connection between the scoring rule and the maximum mean discrepancy divergence. Experimental results are provided that confirm rapid convergence and that the expected score correlates well with standard notions of divergence, both important considerations for ensuring that agents are incentivized to report accurate information.