Multi-stage (designed) procedures, obtained by splitting the sampling budget suitably across stages, and designing the sampling at a particular stage based on information about the parameter obtained from previous stages, are often advantageous from the perspective of precise inference. We develop a generic framework for M-estimation in a multistage setting and apply empirical process techniques to develop limit theorems that describe the large sample behavior of the resulting M-estimates. Applications to change-point estimation, additive isotonic regression, cusp estimation, classification and mode estimation are provided: it is typically seen that the multistage procedure accentuates the efficiency of the M-estimates by accelerating the rate of convergence, relative to one-stage procedures. The step-by-step process induces dependence across stages and complicates the analysis in such problems, which are addressed through careful conditioning arguments.
This is joint work with Atul Mallik and George Michailidis.