Distributionally robust chance constrained programs minimize a deterministic cost function subject to the satisfaction of one or more safety conditions with high probability, given that the probability distribution of the uncertain problem parameters affecting the safety condition(s) is only known to belong to some ambiguity set. We study two popular approximation schemes for distributionally robust chance constrained programs over Wasserstein balls, where the ambiguity set contains all probability distributions within a certain Wasserstein distance to a reference distribution. The first approximation replaces the chance constraint with a bound on the conditional value-at-risk, whereas the second approximation decouples different safety conditions via Bonferroni's inequality. We show that the conditional value-at-risk approximation can be characterized as a tight convex approximation, which complements earlier findings on classical (non-robust) chance constraints, and we offer a novel interpretation in terms of transportation savings. We also show that the two approximation schemes can both perform arbitrarily poorly in data-driven settings, and that they are generally incomparable with each other---in contrast to earlier results for moment-based ambiguity sets.

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View On Approximations of Data-Driven Chance Constrained Programs over Wasserstein Balls