Shah, Amar, Knowles, David A., Ghahramani, Zoubin

Stochastic variational inference (SVI) is emerging as the most promising candidate for scaling inference in Bayesian probabilistic models to large datasets. However, the performance of these methods has been assessed primarily in the context of Bayesian topic models, particularly latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA). Deriving several new algorithms, and using synthetic, image and genomic datasets, we investigate whether the understanding gleaned from LDA applies in the setting of sparse latent factor models, specifically beta process factor analysis (BPFA). We demonstrate that the big picture is consistent: using Gibbs sampling within SVI to maintain certain posterior dependencies is extremely effective. However, we find that different posterior dependencies are important in BPFA relative to LDA. Particularly, approximations able to model intra-local variable dependence perform best.

We present a truncation-free online variational inference algorithm for Bayesian nonparametric models. Unlike traditional (online) variational inference algorithms that require truncations for the model or the variational distribution, our method adapts model complexity on the fly. Our experiments for Dirichlet process mixture models and hierarchical Dirichlet process topic models on two large-scale data sets show better performance than previous online variational inference algorithms.

Donner, Christian, Opper, Manfred

We reconsider a nonparametric density model based on Gaussian processes. By augmenting the model with latent P\'olya--Gamma random variables and a latent marked Poisson process we obtain a new likelihood which is conjugate to the model's Gaussian process prior. The augmented posterior allows for efficient inference by Gibbs sampling and an approximate variational mean field approach. For the latter we utilise sparse GP approximations to tackle the infinite dimensionality of the problem. The performance of both algorithms and comparisons with other density estimators are demonstrated on artificial and real datasets with up to several thousand data points.

Rai, Piyush (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur)

We present a non-negative inductive latent factor model for binary- and count-valued matrices containing dyadic data, with side information along the rows and/or the columns of the matrix. The side information is incorporated by conditioning the row and column latent factors on the available side information via a regression model. Our model can not only perform matrix factorization and completion with side-information, but also infers interpretable latent topics that explain/summarize the data. An appealing aspect of our model is in the full local conjugacy of all parts of the model, including the main latent factor model, as well as for the regression model that leverages the side information. This enables us to design scalable and simple to implement Gibbs sampling and Expectation Maximization algorithms for doing inference in the model. Inference cost in our model scales in the number of nonzeros in the data matrix, which makes it particularly attractive for massive, sparse matrices. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our model on several real-world data sets, comparing it with state-of-the-art baselines.

Gopalan, Prem, Hofman, Jake M., Blei, David M.

We develop a Bayesian Poisson matrix factorization model for forming recommendations from sparse user behavior data. These data are large user/item matrices where each user has provided feedback on only a small subset of items, either explicitly (e.g., through star ratings) or implicitly (e.g., through views or purchases). In contrast to traditional matrix factorization approaches, Poisson factorization implicitly models each user's limited attention to consume items. Moreover, because of the mathematical form of the Poisson likelihood, the model needs only to explicitly consider the observed entries in the matrix, leading to both scalable computation and good predictive performance. We develop a variational inference algorithm for approximate posterior inference that scales up to massive data sets. This is an efficient algorithm that iterates over the observed entries and adjusts an approximate posterior over the user/item representations. We apply our method to large real-world user data containing users rating movies, users listening to songs, and users reading scientific papers. In all these settings, Bayesian Poisson factorization outperforms state-of-the-art matrix factorization methods.