What methods exist to categorize signal from noise? In many cases, it is safe to assume that noise is white noise, serially uncorrelated, and zero mean with some finite variance. But in other cases, "red noise" exists such that the noise is correlated in time. What does one do in this case? Perhaps a Gaussian Process could be used?

Dutta, Shamak, Tripp, Bryan, Taylor, Graham

Neurons in the visual cortex are correlated in their variability. The presence of correlation impacts cortical processing because noise cannot be averaged out over many neurons. In an effort to understand the functional purpose of correlated variability, we implement and evaluate correlated noise models in deep convolutional neural networks. Inspired by the cortex, correlation is defined as a function of the distance between neurons and their selectivity. We show how to sample from high-dimensional correlated distributions while keeping the procedure differentiable, so that back-propagation can proceed as usual. The impact of correlated variability is evaluated on the classification of occluded and non-occluded images with and without the presence of other regularization techniques, such as dropout. More work is needed to understand the effects of correlations in various conditions, however in 10/12 of the cases we studied, the best performance on occluded images was obtained from a model with correlated noise.

Bouvrie, Jake, Slotine, Jean-jeacques

To learn reliable rules that can generalize to novel situations, the brain must be capable of imposing some form of regularization. Here we suggest, through theoretical and computational arguments, that the combination of noise with synchronization provides a plausible mechanism for regularization in the nervous system. The functional role of regularization is considered in a general context in which coupled computational systems receive inputs corrupted by correlated noise. Noise on the inputs is shown to impose regularization, and when synchronization upstream induces time-varying correlations across noise variables, the degree of regularization can be calibrated over time. The resulting qualitative behavior matches experimental data from visual cortex.

Goetschalckx, Robby (University of Dundee) | Poupart, Pascal (University of Waterloo) | Hoey, Jesse (University of Waterloo)

In this paper we consider a (possibly continuous) space of Bernoulli experiments. We assume that the Bernoulli distributions of the points are correlated. All evidence data comes in the form of successful or failed experiments at different points. Current state-of-the-art methods for expressing a distribution over a continuum of Bernoulli distributions use logistic Gaussian processes or Gaussian copula processes. However, both of these require computationally expensive matrix operations (cubic in the general case). We introduce a more intuitive approach, directly correlating beta distributions by sharing evidence between them according to a kernel function, an approach which has linear time complexity. The approach can easily be extended to multiple outcomes, giving a continuous correlated Dirichlet process.This approach can be used for classification (both binary and multi-class) and learning the actual probabilities of the Bernoulli distributions. We show results for a number of data sets, as well as a case-study where a mixture of continuous beta processes is used as part of an automated stroke rehabilitation system.

Conitzer, Vincent (Duke University) | Korzhyk, Dmytro (Duke University)

The standard approach to computing an optimal mixed strategy to commit to is based on solving a set of linear programs, one for each of the follower's pure strategies. We show that these linear programs can be naturally merged into a single linear program; that this linear program can be interpreted as a formulation for the optimal correlated strategy to commit to, giving an easy proof of a result by von Stengel and Zamir that the leader's utility is at least the utility she gets in any correlated equilibrium of the simultaneous-move game; and that this linear program can be extended to compute optimal correlated strategies to commit to in games of three or more players.