Parametric Gaussian Process Regressors

Jul 12, 2020



The combination of inducing point methods with stochastic variational inference has enabled approximate Gaussian Process (GP) inference on large datasets. Unfortunately, the resulting predictive distributions often exhibit substantially underestimated uncertainties. Notably, in the regression case the predictive variance is typically dominated by observation noise, yielding uncertainty estimates that make little use of the input-dependent function uncertainty that makes GP priors attractive. In this work we propose two simple methods for scalable GP regression that address this issue and thus yield substantially improved predictive uncertainties. The first applies variational inference to FITC (Fully Independent Training Conditional; Snelson et. al. 2006). The second bypasses posterior approximations and instead directly targets the posterior predictive distribution. In an extensive empirical comparison with a number of alternative methods for scalable GP regression, we find that the resulting predictive distributions exhibit significantly better calibrated uncertainties and higher log likelihoods–often by as much as half a nat per datapoint.



About ICML 2020

The International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML) is the premier gathering of professionals dedicated to the advancement of the branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning. ICML is globally renowned for presenting and publishing cutting-edge research on all aspects of machine learning used in closely related areas like artificial intelligence, statistics and data science, as well as important application areas such as machine vision, computational biology, speech recognition, and robotics. ICML is one of the fastest growing artificial intelligence conferences in the world. Participants at ICML span a wide range of backgrounds, from academic and industrial researchers, to entrepreneurs and engineers, to graduate students and postdocs.

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