**Con**volution-type smoothed **qu**antil**e** **r**egression

The `conquer`

library performs fast and accurate convolution-type smoothed quantile regression (Fernandes, Guerre and Horta, 2019) implemented via Barzilai-Borwein gradient descent (Barzilai and Borwein, 1988) with a Huber regression warm start. The package can also construct confidence intervals for regression coefficients using multiplier bootstrap.

`conquer`

is available on CRAN, and it can be installed into `R`

environment:

A collection of error / warning messages we received from issues or e-mails and their solutions:

Error: smqr.cpp: ‘quantile’ is not a member of ‘arma’.

**Solution**: ‘quantile’ function is added into`RcppArmadillo`

version 0.9.850.1.0 (2020-02-09), so reinstalling / updating the library`RcppArmadillo`

will fix this issue.Error: unable to load shared object.. Symbol not found: _EXTPTR_PTR.

**Solution**: This issue is common in some specific versions of`R`

when we load any Rcpp-based libraries. It is an error in R caused by a minor change about`EXTPTR_PTR`

. Upgrading R to 4.0.2 will solve the problem.

Let us illustrate conquer by a simple example. For sample size *n = 5000* and dimension *p = 70*, we generate data from a linear model *y _{i} = β_{0} + <x_{i}, β> + ε_{i}*, for

`MASS`

), and ```
library(MASS)
library(quantreg)
library(conquer)
n = 5000
p = 70
beta = rep(1, p + 1)
set.seed(2020)
X = mvrnorm(n, rep(0, p), diag(p))
err = rt(n, 2)
Y = cbind(1, X) %*% beta + err
```

Then we run both quantile regression using package `quantreg`

, with a Frisch-Newton approach after preprocessing (Portnoy and Koenker, 1997), and conquer (with Gaussian kernel) on the generated data. The quantile level *τ* is fixed to be *0.5*.

```
tau = 0.5
start = Sys.time()
fit.qr = rq(Y ~ X, tau = tau, method = "pfn")
end = Sys.time()
time.qr = as.numeric(difftime(end, start, units = "secs"))
est.qr = norm(as.numeric(fit.qr$coefficients) - beta, "2")
start = Sys.time()
fit.conquer = conquer(X, Y, tau = tau)
end = Sys.time()
time.conquer = as.numeric(difftime(end, start, units = "secs"))
est.conquer = norm(fit.conquer$coeff - beta, "2")
```

It takes 0.1955 seconds to run the standard quantile regression but only 0.0255 seconds to run conquer. In the meanwhile, the estimation error is 0.1799 for quantile regression and 0.1685 for conquer. For readers’ reference, these runtimes are recorded on a Macbook Pro with 2.3 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9 processor, and 16 GB 2667 MHz DDR4 memory.

Help on the functions can be accessed by typing `?`

, followed by function name at the `R`

command prompt.

For example, `?conquer`

will present a detailed documentation with inputs, outputs and examples of the function `conquer`

.

GPL-3.0

C++11

Xuming He xmhe@umich.edu, Xiaoou Pan xip024@ucsd.edu, Kean Ming Tan keanming@umich.edu and Wen-Xin Zhou wez243@ucsd.edu

Xiaoou Pan xip024@ucsd.edu

Barzilai, J. and Borwein, J. M. (1988). Two-point step size gradient methods. *IMA J. Numer. Anal.* **8** 141–148. Paper

Fernandes, M., Guerre, E. and Horta, E. (2019). Smoothing quantile regressions. *J. Bus. Econ. Statist.*, in press. Paper

He, X., Pan, X., Tan, K. M., and Zhou, W.-X. (2020). Smoothed quantile regression with large-scale inference. Preprint.

Horowitz, J. L. (1998). Bootstrap methods for median regression models. *Econometrica* **66** 1327–1351. Paper

Koenker, R. (2005). Quantile Regression. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge. Book

Koenker, R. (2019). Package “quantreg”, version 5.54. CRAN

Koenker, R. and Bassett, G. (1978). Regression quantiles. *Econometrica* **46** 33-50. Paper

Portnoy, S. and Koenker, R. (1997). The Gaussian hare and the Laplacian tortoise: Computability of squared-error versus absolute-error estimators. *Statist. Sci.* **12** 279–300. Paper

Sanderson, C. and Curtin, R. (2016). Armadillo: A template-based C++ library for linear algebra. *J. Open Source Softw.* **1** 26. Paper