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For almost fifty years, Richard M. Dudley has been extremely influential in the development of several areas of Probability. His work on Gaussian processes led to the understanding of the basic fact that their sample boundedness and continuity should be characterized in terms of proper measures of complexity of their parameter spaces equipped with the intrinsic covariance metric. His sufficient condition for sample continuity in terms of metric entropy... more...

The purpose of these lecture notes is to provide an introduction to the general theory of empirical risk minimization with an emphasis on excess risk bounds and oracle inequalities in penalized problems. In recent years, there have been new developments in this area motivated by the study of new classes of methods in machine learning such as large margin classification methods (boosting, kernel machines). The main probabilistic tools involved in the... more...