Particle Filtering for Nonparametric Bayesian Matrix Factorization

Neural Information Processing Systems

Many unsupervised learning problems can be expressed as a form of matrix factorization, reconstructingan observed data matrix as the product of two matrices of latent variables. A standard challenge in solving these problems is determining the dimensionality of the latent matrices.

Parallel Markov Chain Monte Carlo for the Indian Buffet Process Machine Learning

Indian Buffet Process based models are an elegant way for discovering underlying features within a data set, but inference in such models can be slow. Inferring underlying features using Markov chain Monte Carlo either relies on an uncollapsed representation, which leads to poor mixing, or on a collapsed representation, which leads to a quadratic increase in computational complexity. Existing attempts at distributing inference have introduced additional approximation within the inference procedure. In this paper we present a novel algorithm to perform asymptotically exact parallel Markov chain Monte Carlo inference for Indian Buffet Process models. We take advantage of the fact that the features are conditionally independent under the beta-Bernoulli process. Because of this conditional independence, we can partition the features into two parts: one part containing only the finitely many instantiated features and the other part containing the infinite tail of uninstantiated features. For the finite partition, parallel inference is simple given the instantiation of features. But for the infinite tail, performing uncollapsed MCMC leads to poor mixing and hence we collapse out the features. The resulting hybrid sampler, while being parallel, produces samples asymptotically from the true posterior.

Multi-Label Prediction via Sparse Infinite CCA

Neural Information Processing Systems

Canonical Correlation Analysis (CCA) is a useful technique for modeling dependencies between two (or more) sets of variables. Building upon the recently suggested probabilistic interpretation of CCA, we propose a nonparametric, fully Bayesian framework that can automatically select the number of correlation components, and effectively capture the sparsity underlying the projections. In addition, given (partially) labeled data, our algorithm can also be used as a (semi)supervised dimensionality reduction technique, and can be applied to learn useful predictive features in the context of learning a set of related tasks. Experimental results demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed approach for both CCA as a stand-alone problem, and when applied to multi-label prediction.

Flexible Modeling of Latent Task Structures in Multitask Learning Machine Learning

Multitask learning algorithms are typically designed assuming some fixed, a priori known latent structure shared by all the tasks. However, it is usually unclear what type of latent task structure is the most appropriate for a given multitask learning problem. Ideally, the "right" latent task structure should be learned in a data-driven manner. We present a flexible, nonparametric Bayesian model that posits a mixture of factor analyzers structure on the tasks. The nonparametric aspect makes the model expressive enough to subsume many existing models of latent task structures (e.g, mean-regularized tasks, clustered tasks, low-rank or linear/non-linear subspace assumption on tasks, etc.). Moreover, it can also learn more general task structures, addressing the shortcomings of such models. We present a variational inference algorithm for our model. Experimental results on synthetic and real-world datasets, on both regression and classification problems, demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Differentially private subspace clustering

Neural Information Processing Systems

Subspace clustering is an unsupervised learning problem that aims at grouping data points into multiple ``clusters'' so that data points in a single cluster lie approximately on a low-dimensional linear subspace. It is originally motivated by 3D motion segmentation in computer vision, but has recently been generically applied to a wide range of statistical machine learning problems, which often involves sensitive datasets about human subjects. This raises a dire concern for data privacy. In this work, we build on the framework of ``differential privacy'' and present two provably private subspace clustering algorithms. We demonstrate via both theory and experiments that one of the presented methods enjoys formal privacy and utility guarantees; the other one asymptotically preserves differential privacy while having good performance in practice. Along the course of the proof, we also obtain two new provable guarantees for the agnostic subspace clustering and the graph connectivity problem which might be of independent interests.