Bayesian Non-parametrics

Jun 12, 2019



Beyond the Chinese Restaurant and Pitman-Yor processes: Statistical Models with double power-law behavior Bayesian nonparametric approaches, in particular the Pitman-Yor process and the associated two-parameter Chinese Restaurant process, have been successfully used in applications where the data exhibit a power-law behavior. Examples include natural language processing, natural images or networks. There is also growing empirical evidence that some datasets exhibit a two-regime power-law behavior: one regime for small frequencies, and a second regime, with a different exponent, for high frequencies. In this paper, we introduce a class of completely random measures which are doubly regularly-varying. Contrary to the Pitman-Yor process, we show that when completely random measures in this class are normalized to obtain random probability measures and associated random partitions, such partitions exhibit a double power-law behavior. We discuss in particular three models within this class: the beta prime process (Broderick et al. (2015, 2018), a novel process call generalized BFRY process, and a mixture construction. We derive efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms to estimate the parameters of these models. Finally, we show that the proposed models provide a better fit than the Pitman-Yor process on various datasets. DP-GP-LVM: A Bayesian Non-Parametric Model for Learning Multivariate Dependency Structures We present a non-parametric Bayesian latent variable model capable of learning dependency structures across dimensions in a multivariate setting. Our approach is based on flexible Gaussian process priors for the generative mappings and interchangeable Dirichlet process priors to learn the structure. The introduction of the Dirichlet process as a specific structural prior allows our model to circumvent issues associated with previous Gaussian process latent variable models. Inference is performed by deriving an efficient variational bound on the marginal log-likelihood of the model. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach via analysis of discovered structure and superior quantitative performance on missing data imputation. Random Function Priors for Correlation Modeling Variational Russian Roulette for Deep Bayesian Nonparametrics Bayesian nonparametric models provide a principled way to automatically adapt the complexity of a model to the amount of the data available, but computation in such models is difficult. Amortized variational approximations are appealing because of their computational efficiency, but current methods rely on a fixed finite truncation of the infinite model. This truncation level can be difficult to set, and also interacts poorly with amortized methods due to the over-pruning problem. Instead, we propose a new variational approximation, based on a method from statistical physics called Russian roulette sampling. This allows the variational distribution to adapt its complexity during inference, without relying on a fixed truncation level, and while still obtaining an unbiased estimate of the gradient of the original variational objective. We demonstrate this method on infinite sized variational auto-encoders using a Beta-Bernoulli (Indian buffet process) prior. Incorporating Grouping Information into Bayesian Decision Tree Ensembles Wed Jun 12th 02:35 -- 02:40 PM @ Room 101 in Bayesian Non-parametrics » We consider the problem of nonparametric regression in the high-dimensional setting in which P≫N. We study the use of overlapping group structures to improve prediction and variable selection. These structures arise commonly when analyzing DNA microarray data, where genes can naturally be grouped according to genetic pathways. We incorporate overlapping group structure into a Bayesian additive regression trees model using a prior constructed so that, if a variable from some group is used to construct a split, this increases the probability that subsequent splits will use predictors from the same group. We refer to our model as an overlapping group Bayesian additive regression trees (OG-BART) model, and our prior on the splits an overlapping group Dirichlet (OG-Dirichlet) prior. Like the sparse group lasso, our prior encourages sparsity both within and between groups. We study the correlation structure of the prior, illustrate the proposed methodology on simulated data, and apply the methodology to gene expression data to learn which genetic pathways are predictive of breast cancer tumor metastasis. Variational Implicit Processes We introduce the implicit process (IP), a stochastic process that places implicitly defined multivariate distributions over any finite collections of random variables. IPs are therefore highly flexible implicit priors over \emph{functions}, with examples include data simulators, Bayesian neural networks and non-linear transformations of stochastic processes. A novel and efficient function space approximate Bayesian inference algorithm for IPs, namely the variational implicit processes (VIPs), is derived using generalised wake-sleep updates. This method returns simple update equations and allows scalable hyper-parameter learning with stochastic optimization. Experiments demonstrate that VIPs return better uncertainty estimates and superior performance over existing inference methods for challenging models such as Bayesian LSTMs, Bayesian neural networks, and Gaussian processes. Discovering Latent Covariance Structures for Multiple Time Series Analyzing multivariate time series data is important to predict future events and changes of complex systems in finance, manufacturing, and administrative decisions. The expressiveness power of Gaussian Process (GP) regression methods has been significantly improved by compositional covariance structures. In this paper, we present a new GP model which naturally handles multiple time series by placing an Indian Buffet Process (IBP) prior on the presence of shared kernels. Our selective covariance structure decomposition allows exploiting shared parameters over a set of multiple, selected time series. We also investigate the well-definedness of the models when infinite latent components are introduced. We present a pragmatic search algorithm which explores a larger structure space efficiently. Experiments conducted on five real-world data sets demonstrate that our new model outperforms existing methods in term of structure discoveries and predictive performances. Scalable Training of Inference Networks for Gaussian-Process Models Inference in Gaussian process (GP) models is computationally challenging for large data, and often difficult to approximate with a small number of inducing points. We explore an alternative approximation that employs stochastic inference networks (e.g., Bayesian neural networks) for a flexible inference. Unfortunately, for such networks, minibatch training is difficult to be able to learn meaningful correlations over function outputs for a large dataset. We propose an algorithm that enables such training by tracking a stochastic, functional mirror-descent algorithm. At each iteration, this only requires considering a finite number of input locations, resulting in a scalable and easy-to-implement algorithm. Empirical results show comparable and, sometimes, superior performance to existing sparse variational GP methods. Learning interpretable continuous-time models of latent stochastic dynamical systems We develop an approach to learn an interpretable semi-parametric model of a latent continuous-time stochastic dynamical system, assuming noisy high-dimensional outputs sampled at uneven times. The dynamics are described by a nonlinear stochastic differential equation (SDE) driven by a Wiener process, with a drift evolution function drawn from a Gaussian process (GP) conditioned on a set of learnt fixed points and corresponding local Jacobian matrices. This form yields a flexible nonparametric model of the dynamics, with a representation corresponding directly to the interpretable portraits routinely employed in the study of nonlinear dynamical systems. The learning algorithm combines inference of continuous latent paths underlying observed data with a sparse variational description of the dynamical process. We demonstrate our approach on simulated data from different nonlinear dynamical systems.



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