results for au:Welling_M in:cs

- Sep 15 2017 cs.LG arXiv:1709.04893v2The success of convolutional networks in learning problems involving planar signals such as images is due to their ability to exploit the translation symmetry of the data distribution through weight sharing. Many areas of science and egineering deal with signals with other symmetries, such as rotation invariant data on the sphere. Examples include climate and weather science, astrophysics, and chemistry. In this paper we present spherical convolutional networks. These networks use convolutions on the sphere and rotation group, which results in rotational weight sharing and rotation equivariance. Using a synthetic spherical MNIST dataset, we show that spherical convolutional networks are very effective at dealing with rotationally invariant classification problems.
- Jun 14 2017 cs.NE arXiv:1706.04159v1The vast majority of natural sensory data is temporally redundant. Video frames or audio samples which are sampled at nearby points in time tend to have similar values. Typically, deep learning algorithms take no advantage of this redundancy to reduce computation. This can be an obscene waste of energy. We present a variant on backpropagation for neural networks in which computation scales with the rate of change of the data - not the rate at which we process the data. We do this by having neurons communicate a combination of their state, and their temporal change in state. Intriguingly, this simple communication rule give rise to units that resemble biologically-inspired leaky integrate-and-fire neurons, and to a weight-update rule that is equivalent to a form of Spike-Timing Dependent Plasticity (STDP), a synaptic learning rule observed in the brain. We demonstrate that on MNIST and a temporal variant of MNIST, our algorithm performs about as well as a Multilayer Perceptron trained with backpropagation, despite only communicating discrete values between layers.
- Much of the recent research on solving iterative inference problems focuses on moving away from hand-chosen inference algorithms and towards learned inference. In the latter, the inference process is unrolled in time and interpreted as a recurrent neural network (RNN) which allows for joint learning of model and inference parameters with back-propagation through time. In this framework, the RNN architecture is directly derived from a hand-chosen inference algorithm, effectively limiting its capabilities. We propose a learning framework, called Recurrent Inference Machines (RIM), in which we turn algorithm construction the other way round: Given data and a task, train an RNN to learn an inference algorithm. Because RNNs are Turing complete [1, 2] they are capable to implement any inference algorithm. The framework allows for an abstraction which removes the need for domain knowledge. We demonstrate in several image restoration experiments that this abstraction is effective, allowing us to achieve state-of-the-art performance on image denoising and super-resolution tasks and superior across-task generalization.
- In this paper we revisit matrix completion for recommender systems from the point of view of link prediction on graphs. Interaction data such as movie ratings can be represented by a bipartite user-item graph with labeled edges representing observed ratings. Building on recent progress in deep learning on graph-structured data, we propose a graph auto-encoder framework based on differentiable message passing on the bipartite interaction graph. This framework can be viewed as an important first step towards end-to-end learning in settings where the interaction data is integrated into larger graphs such as social networks or knowledge graphs, circumventing the need for multistage frameworks. Our model achieves competitive performance on standard collaborative filtering benchmarks, significantly outperforming related methods in a recommendation task with side information.
- Compression and computational efficiency in deep learning have become a problem of great significance. In this work, we argue that the most principled and effective way to attack this problem is by taking a Bayesian point of view, where through sparsity inducing priors we prune large parts of the network. We introduce two novelties in this paper: 1) we use hierarchical priors to prune nodes instead of individual weights, and 2) we use the posterior uncertainties to determine the optimal fixed point precision to encode the weights. Both factors significantly contribute to achieving the state of the art in terms of compression rates, while still staying competitive with methods designed to optimize for speed or energy efficiency.
- Learning individual-level causal effects from observational data, such as inferring the most effective medication for a specific patient, is a problem of growing importance for policy makers. The most important aspect of inferring causal effects from observational data is the handling of confounders, factors that affect both an intervention and its outcome. A carefully designed observational study attempts to measure all important confounders. However, even if one does not have direct access to all confounders, there may exist noisy and uncertain measurement of proxies for confounders. We build on recent advances in latent variable modelling to simultaneously estimate the unknown latent space summarizing the confounders and the causal effect. Our method is based on Variational Autoencoders (VAE) which follow the causal structure of inference with proxies. We show our method is significantly more robust than existing methods, and matches the state-of-the-art on previous benchmarks focused on individual treatment effects.
- Many different methods to train deep generative models have been introduced in the past. In this paper, we propose to extend the variational auto-encoder (VAE) framework with a new type of prior which we call "Variational Mixture of Posteriors" prior, or VampPrior for short. The VampPrior consists of a mixture distribution (e.g., a mixture of Gaussians) with components given by variational posteriors conditioned on learnable pseudo-inputs. We further extend this prior to a two layer hierarchical model and show that this architecture with a coupled prior and posterior, learns significantly better models. The model also avoids the usual local optima issues related to useless latent dimensions that plague VAEs. We provide empirical studies on six datasets, namely, static and binary MNIST, OMNIGLOT, Caltech 101 Silhouettes, Frey Faces and Histopathology patches, and show that applying the hierarchical VampPrior delivers state-of-the-art results on all datasets in the unsupervised permutation invariant setting and the best results or comparable to SOTA methods for the approach with convolutional networks.
- Knowledge bases play a crucial role in many applications, for example question answering and information retrieval. Despite the great effort invested in creating and maintaining them, even the largest representatives (e.g., Yago, DBPedia or Wikidata) are highly incomplete. We introduce relational graph convolutional networks (R-GCNs) and apply them to two standard knowledge base completion tasks: link prediction (recovery of missing facts, i.e.~subject-predicate-object triples) and entity classification (recovery of missing attributes of entities). R-GCNs are a generalization of graph convolutional networks, a recent class of neural networks operating on graphs, and are developed specifically to deal with highly multi-relational data, characteristic of realistic knowledge bases. Our methods achieve competitive performance on standard benchmarks for both tasks, demonstrating especially promising results on the challenging FB15k-237 subset of Freebase.
- We reinterpret multiplicative noise in neural networks as auxiliary random variables that augment the approximate posterior in a variational setting for Bayesian neural networks. We show that through this interpretation it is both efficient and straightforward to improve the approximation by employing normalizing flows while still allowing for local reparametrizations and a tractable lower bound. In experiments we show that with this new approximation we can significantly improve upon classical mean field for Bayesian neural networks on both predictive accuracy as well as predictive uncertainty.
- This article presents the prediction difference analysis method for visualizing the response of a deep neural network to a specific input. When classifying images, the method highlights areas in a given input image that provide evidence for or against a certain class. It overcomes several shortcoming of previous methods and provides great additional insight into the decision making process of classifiers. Making neural network decisions interpretable through visualization is important both to improve models and to accelerate the adoption of black-box classifiers in application areas such as medicine. We illustrate the method in experiments on natural images (ImageNet data), as well as medical images (MRI brain scans).
- The success of deep learning in numerous application domains created the de- sire to run and train them on mobile devices. This however, conflicts with their computationally, memory and energy intense nature, leading to a growing interest in compression. Recent work by Han et al. (2015a) propose a pipeline that involves retraining, pruning and quantization of neural network weights, obtaining state-of-the-art compression rates. In this paper, we show that competitive compression rates can be achieved by using a version of soft weight-sharing (Nowlan & Hinton, 1992). Our method achieves both quantization and pruning in one simple (re-)training procedure. This point of view also exposes the relation between compression and the minimum description length (MDL) principle.
- It has long been recognized that the invariance and equivariance properties of a representation are critically important for success in many vision tasks. In this paper we present Steerable Convolutional Neural Networks, an efficient and flexible class of equivariant convolutional networks. We show that steerable CNNs achieve state of the art results on the CIFAR image classification benchmark. The mathematical theory of steerable representations reveals a type system in which any steerable representation is a composition of elementary feature types, each one associated with a particular kind of symmetry. We show how the parameter cost of a steerable filter bank depends on the types of the input and output features, and show how to use this knowledge to construct CNNs that utilize parameters effectively.
- Variational auto-encoders (VAE) are scalable and powerful generative models. However, the choice of the variational posterior determines tractability and flexibility of the VAE. Commonly, latent variables are modeled using the normal distribution with a diagonal covariance matrix. This results in computational efficiency but typically it is not flexible enough to match the true posterior distribution. One fashion of enriching the variational posterior distribution is application of normalizing flows, i.e., a series of invertible transformations to latent variables with a simple posterior. In this paper, we follow this line of thinking and propose a volume-preserving flow that uses a series of Householder transformations. We show empirically on MNIST dataset and histopathology data that the proposed flow allows to obtain more flexible variational posterior and competitive results comparing to other normalizing flows.
- We introduce the variational graph auto-encoder (VGAE), a framework for unsupervised learning on graph-structured data based on the variational auto-encoder (VAE). This model makes use of latent variables and is capable of learning interpretable latent representations for undirected graphs. We demonstrate this model using a graph convolutional network (GCN) encoder and a simple inner product decoder. Our model achieves competitive results on a link prediction task in citation networks. In contrast to most existing models for unsupervised learning on graph-structured data and link prediction, our model can naturally incorporate node features, which significantly improves predictive performance on a number of benchmark datasets.
- Nov 08 2016 cs.NE arXiv:1611.02024v2Deep neural networks can be obscenely wasteful. When processing video, a convolutional network expends a fixed amount of computation for each frame with no regard to the similarity between neighbouring frames. As a result, it ends up repeatedly doing very similar computations. To put an end to such waste, we introduce Sigma-Delta networks. With each new input, each layer in this network sends a discretized form of its change in activation to the next layer. Thus the amount of computation that the network does scales with the amount of change in the input and layer activations, rather than the size of the network. We introduce an optimization method for converting any pre-trained deep network into an optimally efficient Sigma-Delta network, and show that our algorithm, if run on the appropriate hardware, could cut at least an order of magnitude from the computational cost of processing video data.
- We provide a general framework for privacy-preserving variational Bayes (VB) for a large class of probabilistic models, called the conjugate exponential (CE) family. Our primary observation is that when models are in the CE family, we can privatise the variational posterior distributions simply by perturbing the expected sufficient statistics of the complete-data likelihood. For widely used non-CE models with binomial likelihoods, we exploit the Pólya-Gamma data augmentation scheme to bring such models into the CE family, such that inferences in the modified model resemble the private variational Bayes algorithm as closely as possible. The iterative nature of variational Bayes presents a further challenge since iterations increase the amount of noise needed. We overcome this by combining: (1) a relaxed notion of differential privacy, called concentrated differential privacy, which provides a tight bound on the privacy cost of multiple VB iterations and thus significantly decreases the amount of additive noise; and (2) the privacy amplification effect of subsampling mini-batches from large-scale data in stochastic learning. We empirically demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in CE and non-CE models including latent Dirichlet allocation, Bayesian logistic regression, and sigmoid belief networks, evaluated on real-world datasets.
- We develop a privatised stochastic variational inference method for Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA). The iterative nature of stochastic variational inference presents challenges: multiple iterations are required to obtain accurate posterior distributions, yet each iteration increases the amount of noise that must be added to achieve a reasonable degree of privacy. We propose a practical algorithm that overcomes this challenge by combining: (1) A relaxed notion of the differential privacy, called concentrated differential privacy, which provides high probability bounds for cumulative privacy loss, which is well suited for iterative algorithms, rather than focusing on single-query loss; and (2) Privacy amplification resulting from subsampling of large-scale data. Focusing on conjugate exponential family models, in our private variational inference, all the posterior distributions will be privatised by simply perturbing expected sufficient statistics. Using Wikipedia data, we illustrate the effectiveness of our algorithm for large-scale data.
- We present a scalable approach for semi-supervised learning on graph-structured data that is based on an efficient variant of convolutional neural networks which operate directly on graphs. We motivate the choice of our convolutional architecture via a localized first-order approximation of spectral graph convolutions. Our model scales linearly in the number of graph edges and learns hidden layer representations that encode both local graph structure and features of nodes. In a number of experiments on citation networks and on a knowledge graph dataset we demonstrate that our approach outperforms related methods by a significant margin.
- The framework of normalizing flows provides a general strategy for flexible variational inference of posteriors over latent variables. We propose a new type of normalizing flow, inverse autoregressive flow (IAF), that, in contrast to earlier published flows, scales well to high-dimensional latent spaces. The proposed flow consists of a chain of invertible transformations, where each transformation is based on an autoregressive neural network. In experiments, we show that IAF significantly improves upon diagonal Gaussian approximate posteriors. In addition, we demonstrate that a novel type of variational autoencoder, coupled with IAF, is competitive with neural autoregressive models in terms of attained log-likelihood on natural images, while allowing significantly faster synthesis.
- Iteratively reweighted least squares (IRLS) is a widely-used method in machine learning to estimate the parameters in the generalised linear models. In particular, IRLS for L1 minimisation under the linear model provides a closed-form solution in each step, which is a simple multiplication between the inverse of the weighted second moment matrix and the weighted first moment vector. When dealing with privacy sensitive data, however, developing a privacy preserving IRLS algorithm faces two challenges. First, due to the inversion of the second moment matrix, the usual sensitivity analysis in differential privacy incorporating a single datapoint perturbation gets complicated and often requires unrealistic assumptions. Second, due to its iterative nature, a significant cumulative privacy loss occurs. However, adding a high level of noise to compensate for the privacy loss hinders from getting accurate estimates. Here, we develop a practical algorithm that overcomes these challenges and outputs privatised and accurate IRLS solutions. In our method, we analyse the sensitivity of each moments separately and treat the matrix inversion and multiplication as a post-processing step, which simplifies the sensitivity analysis. Furthermore, we apply the \itconcentrated differential privacy formalism, a more relaxed version of differential privacy, which requires adding a significantly less amount of noise for the same level of privacy guarantee, compared to the conventional and advanced compositions of differentially private mechanisms.
- The iterative nature of the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm presents a challenge for privacy-preserving estimation, as each iteration increases the amount of noise needed. We propose a practical private EM algorithm that overcomes this challenge using two innovations: (1) a novel moment perturbation formulation for differentially private EM (DP-EM), and (2) the use of two recently developed composition methods to bound the privacy "cost" of multiple EM iterations: the moments accountant (MA) and zero-mean concentrated differential privacy (zCDP). Both MA and zCDP bound the moment generating function of the privacy loss random variable and achieve a refined tail bound, which effectively decrease the amount of additive noise. We present empirical results showing the benefits of our approach, as well as similar performance between these two composition methods in the DP-EM setting for Gaussian mixture models. Our approach can be readily extended to many iterative learning algorithms, opening up various exciting future directions.
- Bayesian inference has great promise for the privacy-preserving analysis of sensitive data, as posterior sampling automatically preserves differential privacy, an algorithmic notion of data privacy, under certain conditions (Dimitrakakis et al., 2014; Wang et al., 2015). While this one posterior sample (OPS) approach elegantly provides privacy "for free," it is data inefficient in the sense of asymptotic relative efficiency (ARE). We show that a simple alternative based on the Laplace mechanism, the workhorse of differential privacy, is as asymptotically efficient as non-private posterior inference, under general assumptions. This technique also has practical advantages including efficient use of the privacy budget for MCMC. We demonstrate the practicality of our approach on a time-series analysis of sensitive military records from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars disclosed by the Wikileaks organization.
- We introduce a variational Bayesian neural network where the parameters are governed via a probability distribution on random matrices. Specifically, we employ a matrix variate Gaussian \citegupta1999matrix parameter posterior distribution where we explicitly model the covariance among the input and output dimensions of each layer. Furthermore, with approximate covariance matrices we can achieve a more efficient way to represent those correlations that is also cheaper than fully factorized parameter posteriors. We further show that with the "local reprarametrization trick" \citekingma2015variational on this posterior distribution we arrive at a Gaussian Process \citerasmussen2006gaussian interpretation of the hidden units in each layer and we, similarly with \citegal2015dropout, provide connections with deep Gaussian processes. We continue in taking advantage of this duality and incorporate "pseudo-data" \citesnelson2005sparse in our model, which in turn allows for more efficient sampling while maintaining the properties of the original model. The validity of the proposed approach is verified through extensive experiments.
- Mar 09 2016 cs.CV arXiv:1603.02518v3We present a method for visualising the response of a deep neural network to a specific input. For image data for instance our method will highlight areas that provide evidence in favor of, and against choosing a certain class. The method overcomes several shortcomings of previous methods and provides great additional insight into the decision making process of convolutional networks, which is important both to improve models and to accelerate the adoption of such methods in e.g. medicine. In experiments on ImageNet data, we illustrate how the method works and can be applied in different ways to understand deep neural nets.
- Feb 29 2016 cs.NE arXiv:1602.08323v2We introduce an algorithm to do backpropagation on a spiking network. Our network is "spiking" in the sense that our neurons accumulate their activation into a potential over time, and only send out a signal (a "spike") when this potential crosses a threshold and the neuron is reset. Neurons only update their states when receiving signals from other neurons. Total computation of the network thus scales with the number of spikes caused by an input rather than network size. We show that the spiking Multi-Layer Perceptron behaves identically, during both prediction and training, to a conventional deep network of rectified-linear units, in the limiting case where we run the spiking network for a long time. We apply this architecture to a conventional classification problem (MNIST) and achieve performance very close to that of a conventional Multi-Layer Perceptron with the same architecture. Our network is a natural architecture for learning based on streaming event-based data, and is a stepping stone towards using spiking neural networks to learn efficiently on streaming data.
- We introduce Group equivariant Convolutional Neural Networks (G-CNNs), a natural generalization of convolutional neural networks that reduces sample complexity by exploiting symmetries. G-CNNs use G-convolutions, a new type of layer that enjoys a substantially higher degree of weight sharing than regular convolution layers. G-convolutions increase the expressive capacity of the network without increasing the number of parameters. Group convolution layers are easy to use and can be implemented with negligible computational overhead for discrete groups generated by translations, reflections and rotations. G-CNNs achieve state of the art results on CIFAR10 and rotated MNIST.
- Herding defines a deterministic dynamical system at the edge of chaos. It generates a sequence of model states and parameters by alternating parameter perturbations with state maximizations, where the sequence of states can be interpreted as "samples" from an associated MRF model. Herding differs from maximum likelihood estimation in that the sequence of parameters does not converge to a fixed point and differs from an MCMC posterior sampling approach in that the sequence of states is generated deterministically. Herding may be interpreted as a"perturb and map" method where the parameter perturbations are generated using a deterministic nonlinear dynamical system rather than randomly from a Gumbel distribution. This chapter studies the distinct statistical characteristics of the herding algorithm and shows that the fast convergence rate of the controlled moments may be attributed to edge of chaos dynamics. The herding algorithm can also be generalized to models with latent variables and to a discriminative learning setting. The perceptron cycling theorem ensures that the fast moment matching property is preserved in the more general framework.
- We investigate the problem of learning representations that are invariant to certain nuisance or sensitive factors of variation in the data while retaining as much of the remaining information as possible. Our model is based on a variational autoencoding architecture with priors that encourage independence between sensitive and latent factors of variation. Any subsequent processing, such as classification, can then be performed on this purged latent representation. To remove any remaining dependencies we incorporate an additional penalty term based on the "Maximum Mean Discrepancy" (MMD) measure. We discuss how these architectures can be efficiently trained on data and show in experiments that this method is more effective than previous work in removing unwanted sources of variation while maintaining informative latent representations.
- We propose a stochastic gradient Markov chain Monte Carlo (SG-MCMC) algorithm for scalable inference in mixed-membership stochastic blockmodels (MMSB). Our algorithm is based on the stochastic gradient Riemannian Langevin sampler and achieves both faster speed and higher accuracy at every iteration than the current state-of-the-art algorithm based on stochastic variational inference. In addition we develop an approximation that can handle models that entertain a very large number of communities. The experimental results show that SG-MCMC strictly dominates competing algorithms in all cases.
- We consider the problem of Bayesian parameter estimation for deep neural networks, which is important in problem settings where we may have little data, and/ or where we need accurate posterior predictive densities, e.g., for applications involving bandits or active learning. One simple approach to this is to use online Monte Carlo methods, such as SGLD (stochastic gradient Langevin dynamics). Unfortunately, such a method needs to store many copies of the parameters (which wastes memory), and needs to make predictions using many versions of the model (which wastes time). We describe a method for "distilling" a Monte Carlo approximation to the posterior predictive density into a more compact form, namely a single deep neural network. We compare to two very recent approaches to Bayesian neural networks, namely an approach based on expectation propagation [Hernandez-Lobato and Adams, 2015] and an approach based on variational Bayes [Blundell et al., 2015]. Our method performs better than both of these, is much simpler to implement, and uses less computation at test time.
- We describe an embarrassingly parallel, anytime Monte Carlo method for likelihood-free models. The algorithm starts with the view that the stochasticity of the pseudo-samples generated by the simulator can be controlled externally by a vector of random numbers u, in such a way that the outcome, knowing u, is deterministic. For each instantiation of u we run an optimization procedure to minimize the distance between summary statistics of the simulator and the data. After reweighing these samples using the prior and the Jacobian (accounting for the change of volume in transforming from the space of summary statistics to the space of parameters) we show that this weighted ensemble represents a Monte Carlo estimate of the posterior distribution. The procedure can be run embarrassingly parallel (each node handling one sample) and anytime (by allocating resources to the worst performing sample). The procedure is validated on six experiments.
- We investigate a local reparameterizaton technique for greatly reducing the variance of stochastic gradients for variational Bayesian inference (SGVB) of a posterior over model parameters, while retaining parallelizability. This local reparameterization translates uncertainty about global parameters into local noise that is independent across datapoints in the minibatch. Such parameterizations can be trivially parallelized and have variance that is inversely proportional to the minibatch size, generally leading to much faster convergence. Additionally, we explore a connection with dropout: Gaussian dropout objectives correspond to SGVB with local reparameterization, a scale-invariant prior and proportionally fixed posterior variance. Our method allows inference of more flexibly parameterized posteriors; specifically, we propose variational dropout, a generalization of Gaussian dropout where the dropout rates are learned, often leading to better models. The method is demonstrated through several experiments.
- Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) is a powerful and elegant framework for performing inference in simulation-based models. However, due to the difficulty in scaling likelihood estimates, ABC remains useful for relatively low-dimensional problems. We introduce Hamiltonian ABC (HABC), a set of likelihood-free algorithms that apply recent advances in scaling Bayesian learning using Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC) and stochastic gradients. We find that a small number forward simulations can effectively approximate the ABC gradient, allowing Hamiltonian dynamics to efficiently traverse parameter spaces. We also describe a new simple yet general approach of incorporating random seeds into the state of the Markov chain, further reducing the random walk behavior of HABC. We demonstrate HABC on several typical ABC problems, and show that HABC samples comparably to regular Bayesian inference using true gradients on a high-dimensional problem from machine learning.
- Despite having various attractive qualities such as high prediction accuracy and the ability to quantify uncertainty and avoid over-fitting, Bayesian Matrix Factorization has not been widely adopted because of the prohibitive cost of inference. In this paper, we propose a scalable distributed Bayesian matrix factorization algorithm using stochastic gradient MCMC. Our algorithm, based on Distributed Stochastic Gradient Langevin Dynamics, can not only match the prediction accuracy of standard MCMC methods like Gibbs sampling, but at the same time is as fast and simple as stochastic gradient descent. In our experiments, we show that our algorithm can achieve the same level of prediction accuracy as Gibbs sampling an order of magnitude faster. We also show that our method reduces the prediction error as fast as distributed stochastic gradient descent, achieving a 4.1% improvement in RMSE for the Netflix dataset and an 1.8% for the Yahoo music dataset.
- When a three-dimensional object moves relative to an observer, a change occurs on the observer's image plane and in the visual representation computed by a learned model. Starting with the idea that a good visual representation is one that transforms linearly under scene motions, we show, using the theory of group representations, that any such representation is equivalent to a combination of the elementary irreducible representations. We derive a striking relationship between irreducibility and the statistical dependency structure of the representation, by showing that under restricted conditions, irreducible representations are decorrelated. Under partial observability, as induced by the perspective projection of a scene onto the image plane, the motion group does not have a linear action on the space of images, so that it becomes necessary to perform inference over a latent representation that does transform linearly. This idea is demonstrated in a model of rotating NORB objects that employs a latent representation of the non-commutative 3D rotation group SO(3).
- With few exceptions, the field of Machine Learning (ML) research has largely ignored the browser as a computational engine. Beyond an educational resource for ML, the browser has vast potential to not only improve the state-of-the-art in ML research, but also, inexpensively and on a massive scale, to bring sophisticated ML learning and prediction to the public at large. This paper introduces MLitB, a prototype ML framework written entirely in JavaScript, capable of performing large-scale distributed computing with heterogeneous classes of devices. The development of MLitB has been driven by several underlying objectives whose aim is to make ML learning and usage ubiquitous (by using ubiquitous compute devices), cheap and effortlessly distributed, and collaborative. This is achieved by allowing every internet capable device to run training algorithms and predictive models with no software installation and by saving models in universally readable formats. Our prototype library is capable of training deep neural networks with synchronized, distributed stochastic gradient descent. MLitB offers several important opportunities for novel ML research, including: development of distributed learning algorithms, advancement of web GPU algorithms, novel field and mobile applications, privacy preserving computing, and green grid-computing. MLitB is available as open source software.
- In recent years a number of methods have been developed for automatically learning the (sparse) connectivity structure of Markov Random Fields. These methods are mostly based on L1-regularized optimization which has a number of disadvantages such as the inability to assess model uncertainty and expensive crossvalidation to find the optimal regularization parameter. Moreover, the model's predictive performance may degrade dramatically with a suboptimal value of the regularization parameter (which is sometimes desirable to induce sparseness). We propose a fully Bayesian approach based on a "spike and slab" prior (similar to L0 regularization) that does not suffer from these shortcomings. We develop an approximate MCMC method combining Langevin dynamics and reversible jump MCMC to conduct inference in this model. Experiments show that the proposed model learns a good combination of the structure and parameter values without the need for separate hyper-parameter tuning. Moreover, the model's predictive performance is much more robust than L1-based methods with hyper-parameter settings that induce highly sparse model structures.
- Jun 23 2014 cs.LG arXiv:1406.5298v2The ever-increasing size of modern data sets combined with the difficulty of obtaining label information has made semi-supervised learning one of the problems of significant practical importance in modern data analysis. We revisit the approach to semi-supervised learning with generative models and develop new models that allow for effective generalisation from small labelled data sets to large unlabelled ones. Generative approaches have thus far been either inflexible, inefficient or non-scalable. We show that deep generative models and approximate Bayesian inference exploiting recent advances in variational methods can be used to provide significant improvements, making generative approaches highly competitive for semi-supervised learning.
- Feb 27 2014 cs.LG arXiv:1402.7025v2When dealing with datasets containing a billion instances or with simulations that require a supercomputer to execute, computational resources become part of the equation. We can improve the efficiency of learning and inference by exploiting their inherent statistical nature. We propose algorithms that exploit the redundancy of data relative to a model by subsampling data-cases for every update and reasoning about the uncertainty created in this process. In the context of learning we propose to test for the probability that a stochastically estimated gradient points more than 180 degrees in the wrong direction. In the context of MCMC sampling we use stochastic gradients to improve the efficiency of MCMC updates, and hypothesis tests based on adaptive mini-batches to decide whether to accept or reject a proposed parameter update. Finally, we argue that in the context of likelihood free MCMC one needs to store all the information revealed by all simulations, for instance in a Gaussian process. We conclude that Bayesian methods will remain to play a crucial role in the era of big data and big simulations, but only if we overcome a number of computational challenges.
- Feb 19 2014 cs.LG arXiv:1402.4437v2We present a new probabilistic model of compact commutative Lie groups that produces invariant-equivariant and disentangled representations of data. To define the notion of disentangling, we borrow a fundamental principle from physics that is used to derive the elementary particles of a system from its symmetries. Our model employs a newfound Bayesian conjugacy relation that enables fully tractable probabilistic inference over compact commutative Lie groups -- a class that includes the groups that describe the rotation and cyclic translation of images. We train the model on pairs of transformed image patches, and show that the learned invariant representation is highly effective for classification.
- Hierarchical Bayesian networks and neural networks with stochastic hidden units are commonly perceived as two separate types of models. We show that either of these types of models can often be transformed into an instance of the other, by switching between centered and differentiable non-centered parameterizations of the latent variables. The choice of parameterization greatly influences the efficiency of gradient-based posterior inference; we show that they are often complementary to eachother, we clarify when each parameterization is preferred and show how inference can be made robust. In the non-centered form, a simple Monte Carlo estimator of the marginal likelihood can be used for learning the parameters. Theoretical results are supported by experiments.
- Scientists often express their understanding of the world through a computationally demanding simulation program. Analyzing the posterior distribution of the parameters given observations (the inverse problem) can be extremely challenging. The Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) framework is the standard statistical tool to handle these likelihood free problems, but they require a very large number of simulations. In this work we develop two new ABC sampling algorithms that significantly reduce the number of simulations necessary for posterior inference. Both algorithms use confidence estimates for the accept probability in the Metropolis Hastings step to adaptively choose the number of necessary simulations. Our GPS-ABC algorithm stores the information obtained from every simulation in a Gaussian process which acts as a surrogate function for the simulated statistics. Experiments on a challenging realistic biological problem illustrate the potential of these algorithms.
- How can we perform efficient inference and learning in directed probabilistic models, in the presence of continuous latent variables with intractable posterior distributions, and large datasets? We introduce a stochastic variational inference and learning algorithm that scales to large datasets and, under some mild differentiability conditions, even works in the intractable case. Our contributions is two-fold. First, we show that a reparameterization of the variational lower bound with an independent noise variable yields a lower bound estimator that can be jointly optimized w.r.t. variational and generative parameters using standard gradient-based stochastic optimization methods. Second, we show that posterior inference can be made especially efficient by optimizing a probabilistic encoder (also called a recognition model) to approximate the intractable posterior, using the proposed estimator. Theoretical advantages are reflected in experimental results.
- May 14 2013 cs.LG arXiv:1305.2452v1In the internet era there has been an explosion in the amount of digital text information available, leading to difficulties of scale for traditional inference algorithms for topic models. Recent advances in stochastic variational inference algorithms for latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) have made it feasible to learn topic models on large-scale corpora, but these methods do not currently take full advantage of the collapsed representation of the model. We propose a stochastic algorithm for collapsed variational Bayesian inference for LDA, which is simpler and more efficient than the state of the art method. We show connections between collapsed variational Bayesian inference and MAP estimation for LDA, and leverage these connections to prove convergence properties of the proposed algorithm. In experiments on large-scale text corpora, the algorithm was found to converge faster and often to a better solution than the previous method. Human-subject experiments also demonstrated that the method can learn coherent topics in seconds on small corpora, facilitating the use of topic models in interactive document analysis software.
- Can we make Bayesian posterior MCMC sampling more efficient when faced with very large datasets? We argue that computing the likelihood for N datapoints in the Metropolis-Hastings (MH) test to reach a single binary decision is computationally inefficient. We introduce an approximate MH rule based on a sequential hypothesis test that allows us to accept or reject samples with high confidence using only a fraction of the data required for the exact MH rule. While this method introduces an asymptotic bias, we show that this bias can be controlled and is more than offset by a decrease in variance due to our ability to draw more samples per unit of time.
- The Gibbs sampler is one of the most popular algorithms for inference in statistical models. In this paper, we introduce a herding variant of this algorithm, called herded Gibbs, that is entirely deterministic. We prove that herded Gibbs has an $O(1/T)$ convergence rate for models with independent variables and for fully connected probabilistic graphical models. Herded Gibbs is shown to outperform Gibbs in the tasks of image denoising with MRFs and named entity recognition with CRFs. However, the convergence for herded Gibbs for sparsely connected probabilistic graphical models is still an open problem.
- We present a novel inference algorithm for arbitrary, binary, undirected graphs. Unlike loopy belief propagation, which iterates fixed point equations, we directly descend on the Bethe free energy. The algorithm consists of two phases, first we update the pairwise probabilities, given the marginal probabilities at each unit,using an analytic expression. Next, we update the marginal probabilities, given the pairwise probabilities by following the negative gradient of the Bethe free energy. Both steps are guaranteed to decrease the Bethe free energy, and since it is lower bounded, the algorithm is guaranteed to converge to a local minimum. We also show that the Bethe free energy is equal to the TAP free energy up to second order in the weights. In experiments we confirm that when belief propagation converges it usually finds identical solutions as our belief optimization method. However, in cases where belief propagation fails to converge, belief optimization continues to converge to reasonable beliefs. The stable nature of belief optimization makes it ideally suited for learning graphical models from data.
- Product models of low dimensional experts are a powerful way to avoid the curse of dimensionality. We present the ``under-complete product of experts' (UPoE), where each expert models a one dimensional projection of the data. The UPoE is fully tractable and may be interpreted as a parametric probabilistic model for projection pursuit. Its ML learning rules are identical to the approximate learning rules proposed before for under-complete ICA. We also derive an efficient sequential learning algorithm and discuss its relationship to projection pursuit density estimation and feature induction algorithms for additive random field models.
- Oct 17 2012 cs.AI arXiv:1210.4916v1We introduce a new cluster-cumulant expansion (CCE) based on the fixed points of iterative belief propagation (IBP). This expansion is similar in spirit to the loop-series (LS) recently introduced in [1]. However, in contrast to the latter, the CCE enjoys the following important qualities: 1) it is defined for arbitrary state spaces 2) it is easily extended to fixed points of generalized belief propagation (GBP), 3) disconnected groups of variables will not contribute to the CCE and 4) the accuracy of the expansion empirically improves upon that of the LS. The CCE is based on the same Möbius transform as the Kikuchi approximation, but unlike GBP does not require storing the beliefs of the GBP-clusters nor does it suffer from convergence issues during belief updating.
- Oct 17 2012 cs.AI arXiv:1210.4857v1This paper provides some new guidance in the construction of region graphs for Generalized Belief Propagation (GBP). We connect the problem of choosing the outer regions of a LoopStructured Region Graph (SRG) to that of finding a fundamental cycle basis of the corresponding Markov network. We also define a new class of tree-robust Loop-SRG for which GBP on any induced (spanning) tree of the Markov network, obtained by setting to zero the off-tree interactions, is exact. This class of SRG is then mapped to an equivalent class of tree-robust cycle bases on the Markov network. We show that a treerobust cycle basis can be identified by proving that for every subset of cycles, the graph obtained from the edges that participate in a single cycle only, is multiply connected. Using this we identify two classes of tree-robust cycle bases: planar cycle bases and "star" cycle bases. In experiments we show that tree-robustness can be successfully exploited as a design principle to improve the accuracy and convergence of GBP.
- How many labeled examples are needed to estimate a classifier's performance on a new dataset? We study the case where data is plentiful, but labels are expensive. We show that by making a few reasonable assumptions on the structure of the data, it is possible to estimate performance curves, with confidence bounds, using a small number of ground truth labels. Our approach, which we call Semisupervised Performance Evaluation (SPE), is based on a generative model for the classifier's confidence scores. In addition to estimating the performance of classifiers on new datasets, SPE can be used to recalibrate a classifier by re-estimating the class-conditional confidence distributions.
- Generalized belief propagation (GBP) has proven to be a promising technique for approximate inference tasks in AI and machine learning. However, the choice of a good set of clusters to be used in GBP has remained more of an art then a science until this day. This paper proposes a sequential approach to adding new clusters of nodes and their interactions (i.e. "regions") to the approximation. We first review and analyze the recently introduced region graphs and find that three kinds of operations ("split", "merge" and "death") leave the free energy and (under some conditions) the fixed points of GBP invariant. This leads to the notion of "weakly irreducible" regions as the natural candidates to be added to the approximation. Computational complexity of the GBP algorithm is controlled by restricting attention to regions with small "region-width". Combining the above with an efficient (i.e. local in the graph) measure to predict the improved accuracy of GBP leads to the sequential "region pursuit" algorithm for adding new regions bottom-up to the region graph. Experiments show that this algorithm can indeed perform close to optimally.
- Jul 05 2012 cs.AI arXiv:1207.1426v1GBP and EP are two successful algorithms for approximate probabilistic inference, which are based on different approximation strategies. An open problem in both algorithms has been how to choose an appropriate approximation structure. We introduce 'structured region graphs', a formalism which marries these two strategies, reveals a deep connection between them, and suggests how to choose good approximation structures. In this formalism, each region has an internal structure which defines an exponential family, whose sufficient statistics must be matched by the parent region. Reduction operators on these structures allow conversion between EP and GBP free energies. Thus it is revealed that all EP approximations on discrete variables are special cases of GBP, and conversely that some wellknown GBP approximations, such as overlapping squares, are special cases of EP. Furthermore, region graphs derived from EP have a number of good structural properties, including maxent-normality and overall counting number of one. The result is a convenient framework for producing high-quality approximations with a user-adjustable level of complexity
- While learning the maximum likelihood value of parameters of an undirected graphical model is hard, modelling the posterior distribution over parameters given data is harder. Yet, undirected models are ubiquitous in computer vision and text modelling (e.g. conditional random fields). But where Bayesian approaches for directed models have been very successful, a proper Bayesian treatment of undirected models in still in its infant stages. We propose a new method for approximating the posterior of the parameters given data based on the Laplace approximation. This approximation requires the computation of the covariance matrix over features which we compute using the linear response approximation based in turn on loopy belief propagation. We develop the theory for conditional and 'unconditional' random fields with or without hidden variables. In the conditional setting we introduce a new variant of bagging suitable for structured domains. Here we run the loopy max-product algorithm on a 'super-graph' composed of graphs for individual models sampled from the posterior and connected by constraints. Experiments on real world data validate the proposed methods.
- Nonparametric Bayesian approaches to clustering, information retrieval, language modeling and object recognition have recently shown great promise as a new paradigm for unsupervised data analysis. Most contributions have focused on the Dirichlet process mixture models or extensions thereof for which efficient Gibbs samplers exist. In this paper we explore Gibbs samplers for infinite complexity mixture models in the stick breaking representation. The advantage of this representation is improved modeling flexibility. For instance, one can design the prior distribution over cluster sizes or couple multiple infinite mixture models (e.g. over time) at the level of their parameters (i.e. the dependent Dirichlet process model). However, Gibbs samplers for infinite mixture models (as recently introduced in the statistics literature) seem to mix poorly over cluster labels. Among others issues, this can have the adverse effect that labels for the same cluster in coupled mixture models are mixed up. We introduce additional moves in these samplers to improve mixing over cluster labels and to bring clusters into correspondence. An application to modeling of storm trajectories is used to illustrate these ideas.
- In this paper we address the following question: Can we approximately sample from a Bayesian posterior distribution if we are only allowed to touch a small mini-batch of data-items for every sample we generate?. An algorithm based on the Langevin equation with stochastic gradients (SGLD) was previously proposed to solve this, but its mixing rate was slow. By leveraging the Bayesian Central Limit Theorem, we extend the SGLD algorithm so that at high mixing rates it will sample from a normal approximation of the posterior, while for slow mixing rates it will mimic the behavior of SGLD with a pre-conditioner matrix. As a bonus, the proposed algorithm is reminiscent of Fisher scoring (with stochastic gradients) and as such an efficient optimizer during burn-in.
- Variational Bayesian inference and (collapsed) Gibbs sampling are the two important classes of inference algorithms for Bayesian networks. Both have their advantages and disadvantages: collapsed Gibbs sampling is unbiased but is also inefficient for large count values and requires averaging over many samples to reduce variance. On the other hand, variational Bayesian inference is efficient and accurate for large count values but suffers from bias for small counts. We propose a hybrid algorithm that combines the best of both worlds: it samples very small counts and applies variational updates to large counts. This hybridization is shown to significantly improve testset perplexity relative to variational inference at no computational cost.
- In recent years a number of methods have been developed for automatically learning the (sparse) connectivity structure of Markov Random Fields. These methods are mostly based on L1-regularized optimization which has a number of disadvantages such as the inability to assess model uncertainty and expensive cross-validation to find the optimal regularization parameter. Moreover, the model's predictive performance may degrade dramatically with a suboptimal value of the regularization parameter (which is sometimes desirable to induce sparseness). We propose a fully Bayesian approach based on a "spike and slab" prior (similar to L0 regularization) that does not suffer from these shortcomings. We develop an approximate MCMC method combining Langevin dynamics and reversible jump MCMC to conduct inference in this model. Experiments show that the proposed model learns a good combination of the structure and parameter values without the need for separate hyper-parameter tuning. Moreover, the model's predictive performance is much more robust than L1-based methods with hyper-parameter settings that induce highly sparse model structures.
- Learning the parameters of a (potentially partially observable) random field model is intractable in general. Instead of focussing on a single optimal parameter value we propose to treat parameters as dynamical quantities. We introduce an algorithm to generate complex dynamics for parameters and (both visible and hidden) state vectors. We show that under certain conditions averages computed over trajectories of the proposed dynamical system converge to averages computed over the data. Our "herding dynamics" does not require expensive operations such as exponentiation and is fully deterministic.
- Latent Dirichlet analysis, or topic modeling, is a flexible latent variable framework for modeling high-dimensional sparse count data. Various learning algorithms have been developed in recent years, including collapsed Gibbs sampling, variational inference, and maximum a posteriori estimation, and this variety motivates the need for careful empirical comparisons. In this paper, we highlight the close connections between these approaches. We find that the main differences are attributable to the amount of smoothing applied to the counts. When the hyperparameters are optimized, the differences in performance among the algorithms diminish significantly. The ability of these algorithms to achieve solutions of comparable accuracy gives us the freedom to select computationally efficient approaches. Using the insights gained from this comparative study, we show how accurate topic models can be learned in several seconds on text corpora with thousands of documents.
- We extend the herding algorithm to continuous spaces by using the kernel trick. The resulting "kernel herding" algorithm is an infinite memory deterministic process that learns to approximate a PDF with a collection of samples. We show that kernel herding decreases the error of expectations of functions in the Hilbert space at a rate O(1/T) which is much faster than the usual O(1/pT) for iid random samples. We illustrate kernel herding by approximating Bayesian predictive distributions.