Recent work has leveraged the popular distributionally robust optimization paradigm to combat overfitting in classical logistic regression. While the resulting classification scheme displays a promising performance in numerical experiments, it is inherently limited to numerical features. In this paper, we show that distributionally robust logistic regression with mixed (i.e., numerical and categorical) features, despite amounting to an optimization problem of exponential size, admits a polynomial-time solution scheme. We subsequently develop a practically efficient column-and-constraint approach that solves the problem as a sequence of polynomial-time solvable exponential conic programs. Our model retains many of the desirable theoretical features of previous works, but---in contrast to the literature---it does not admit an equivalent representation as a regularized logistic regression, that is, it represents a genuinely novel variant of logistic regression. We show that our method outperforms both the unregularized and the regularized logistic regression on categorical as well as mixed-feature benchmark instances.
Selvi A, Belbasi MR, Haugh MB, Wiesemann W (May 2022) Wasserstein Logistic Regression with Mixed Features. Preprint.