Beyond the Chinese Restaurant and Pitman-Yor processes: Statistical Models with Double Power-law Behavior

arXiv.org Machine Learning

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 called 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.


Sampling and Inference for Beta Neutral-to-the-Left Models of Sparse Networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Empirical evidence suggests that heavy-tailed degree distributions occurring in many real networks are well-approximated by power laws with exponents $\eta$ that may take values either less than and greater than two. Models based on various forms of exchangeability are able to capture power laws with $\eta < 2$, and admit tractable inference algorithms; we draw on previous results to show that $\eta > 2$ cannot be generated by the forms of exchangeability used in existing random graph models. Preferential attachment models generate power law exponents greater than two, but have been of limited use as statistical models due to the inherent difficulty of performing inference in non-exchangeable models. Motivated by this gap, we design and implement inference algorithms for a recently proposed class of models that generates $\eta$ of all possible values. We show that although they are not exchangeable, these models have probabilistic structure amenable to inference. Our methods make a large class of previously intractable models useful for statistical inference.


A marginal sampler for $\sigma$-Stable Poisson-Kingman mixture models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We investigate the class of $\sigma$-stable Poisson-Kingman random probability measures (RPMs) in the context of Bayesian nonparametric mixture modeling. This is a large class of discrete RPMs which encompasses most of the the popular discrete RPMs used in Bayesian nonparametrics, such as the Dirichlet process, Pitman-Yor process, the normalized inverse Gaussian process and the normalized generalized Gamma process. We show how certain sampling properties and marginal characterizations of $\sigma$-stable Poisson-Kingman RPMs can be usefully exploited for devising a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm for making inference in Bayesian nonparametric mixture modeling. Specifically, we introduce a novel and efficient MCMC sampling scheme in an augmented space that has a fixed number of auxiliary variables per iteration. We apply our sampling scheme for a density estimation and clustering tasks with unidimensional and multidimensional datasets, and we compare it against competing sampling schemes.


Microclustering: When the Cluster Sizes Grow Sublinearly with the Size of the Data Set

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Most generative models for clustering implicitly assume that the number of data points in each cluster grows linearly with the total number of data points. Finite mixture models, Dirichlet process mixture models, and Pitman--Yor process mixture models make this assumption, as do all other infinitely exchangeable clustering models. However, for some tasks, this assumption is undesirable. For example, when performing entity resolution, the size of each cluster is often unrelated to the size of the data set. Consequently, each cluster contains a negligible fraction of the total number of data points. Such tasks therefore require models that yield clusters whose sizes grow sublinearly with the size of the data set. We address this requirement by defining the \emph{microclustering property} and introducing a new model that exhibits this property. We compare this model to several commonly used clustering models by checking model fit using real and simulated data sets.


Gibbs-type Indian buffet processes

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We investigate a class of feature allocation models that generalize the Indian buffet process and are parameterized by Gibbs-type random measures. Two existing classes are contained as special cases: the original two-parameter Indian buffet process, corresponding to the Dirichlet process, and the stable (or three-parameter) Indian buffet process, corresponding to the Pitman-Yor process. Asymptotic behavior of the Gibbs-type partitions, such as power laws holding for the number of latent clusters, translates into analogous characteristics for this class of Gibbs-type feature allocation models. Despite containing several different distinct subclasses, the properties of Gibbs-type partitions allow us to develop a black-box procedure for posterior inference within any subclass of models. Through numerical experiments, we compare and contrast a few of these subclasses and highlight the utility of varying power-law behaviors in the latent features.