Tadic, Vladislav Z. B., Doucet, Arnaud

Using stochastic gradient search and the optimal filter derivative, it is possible to perform recursive (i.e., online) maximum likelihood estimation in a non-linear state-space model. As the optimal filter and its derivative are analytically intractable for such a model, they need to be approximated numerically. In [Poyiadjis, Doucet and Singh, Biometrika 2018], a recursive maximum likelihood algorithm based on a particle approximation to the optimal filter derivative has been proposed and studied through numerical simulations. Here, this algorithm and its asymptotic behavior are analyzed theoretically. We show that the algorithm accurately estimates maxima to the underlying (average) log-likelihood when the number of particles is sufficiently large. We also derive (relatively) tight bounds on the estimation error. The obtained results hold under (relatively) mild conditions and cover several classes of non-linear state-space models met in practice.

Yassine, Hachem, Badiu, Mihai-Alin, Coon, Justin

In this paper, we consider the problem of reducing the bit error rate of flash-based solid state drives (SSDs) when cells are subject to inter-cell interference (ICI). By observing that the outputs of adjacent victim cells can be correlated due to common aggressors, we propose a novel channel model to accurately represent the true flash channel. This model, equivalent to a finite-state Markov channel model, allows the use of the sum-product algorithm to calculate more accurate posterior distributions of individual cell inputs given the joint outputs of victim cells. These posteriors can be easily mapped to the log-likelihood ratios that are passed as inputs to the soft LDPC decoder. When the output is available with high precision, our simulation showed that a significant reduction in the bit-error rate can be obtained, reaching $99.99\%$ reduction compared to current methods, when the diagonal coupling is very strong. In the realistic case of low-precision output, our scheme provides less impressive improvements due to information loss in the process of quantization. To improve the performance of the new detector in the quantized case, we propose a new iterative scheme that alternates multiple times between the detector and the decoder. Our simulations showed that the iterative scheme can significantly improve the bit error rate even in the quantized case.

Elliott, Lloyd T., Teh, Yee Whye

Genetic sequence data are well described by hidden Markov models (HMMs) in which latent states correspond to clusters of similar mutation patterns. Theory from statistical genetics suggests that these HMMs are nonhomogeneous (their transition probabilities vary along the chromosome) and have large support for self transitions. We develop a new nonparametric model of genetic sequence data, based on the hierarchical Dirichlet process, which supports these self transitions and nonhomogeneity. Our model provides a parameterization of the genetic process that is more parsimonious than other more general nonparametric models which have previously been applied to population genetics. We provide truncation-free MCMC inference for our model using a new auxiliary sampling scheme for Bayesian nonparametric HMMs. In a series of experiments on male X chromosome data from the Thousand Genomes Project and also on data simulated from a population bottleneck we show the benefits of our model over the popular finite model fastPHASE, which can itself be seen as a parametric truncation of our model. We find that the number of HMM states found by our model is correlated with the time to the most recent common ancestor in population bottlenecks. This work demonstrates the flexibility of Bayesian nonparametrics applied to large and complex genetic data.

Nix, David A., Hogden, John E.

We describe Maximum-Likelihood Continuity Mapping (MALCOM), an alternative to hidden Markov models (HMMs) for processing sequence data such as speech. While HMMs have a discrete "hidden" space constrained bya fixed finite-automaton architecture, MALCOM has a continuous hidden space-a continuity map-that is constrained only by a smoothness requirement on paths through the space. MALCOM fits into the same probabilistic framework for speech recognition as HMMs, but it represents a more realistic model of the speech production process. To evaluate the extent to which MALCOM captures speech production information, we generated continuous speech continuity maps for three speakers and used the paths through them to predict measured speech articulator data. The median correlation between the MALCOM paths obtained from only the speech acoustics and articulator measurements was 0.77 on an independent test set not used to train MALCOM or the predictor.

Panella, Alessandro (University of Illinois at Chicago)

When operating in stochastic, partially observable, multiagent settings, it is crucial to accurately predict the actions of other agents. In my thesis work, I propose methodologies for learning the policy of external agents from their observed behavior, in the form of finite state controllers. To perform this task, I adopt Bayesian learning algorithms based on nonparametric prior distributions, that provide the flexibility required to infer models of unknown complexity. These methods are to be embedded in decision making frameworks for autonomous planning in partially observable multiagent systems.