Probabilistic modeling is a powerful approach for analyzing empirical information. We describe Edward, a library for probabilistic modeling. Edward's design reflects an iterative process pioneered by George Box: build a model of a phenomenon, make inferences about the model given data, and criticize the model's fit to the data. Edward supports a broad class of probabilistic models, efficient algorithms for inference, and many techniques for model criticism. The library builds on top of TensorFlow to support distributed training and hardware such as GPUs. Edward enables the development of complex probabilistic models and their algorithms at a massive scale.
Deep probabilistic programming languages try to combine the advantages of deep learning with those of probabilistic programming languages. If successful, this would be a big step forward in machine learning and programming languages. Unfortunately, as of now, this new crop of languages is hard to use and understand. This paper addresses this problem directly by explaining deep probabilistic programming languages and indirectly by characterizing their current strengths and weaknesses.
In this paper we introduce ZhuSuan, a python probabilistic programming library for Bayesian deep learning, which conjoins the complimentary advantages of Bayesian methods and deep learning. ZhuSuan is built upon Tensorflow. Unlike existing deep learning libraries, which are mainly designed for deterministic neural networks and supervised tasks, ZhuSuan is featured for its deep root into Bayesian inference, thus supporting various kinds of probabilistic models, including both the traditional hierarchical Bayesian models and recent deep generative models. We use running examples to illustrate the probabilistic programming on ZhuSuan, including Bayesian logistic regression, variational auto-encoders, deep sigmoid belief networks and Bayesian recurrent neural networks.
We describe a simple, low-level approach for embedding probabilistic programming in a deep learning ecosystem. In particular, we distill probabilistic programming down to a single abstraction---the random variable. Our lightweight implementation in TensorFlow enables numerous applications: a model-parallel variational auto-encoder (VAE) with 2nd-generation tensor processing units (TPUv2s); a data-parallel autoregressive model (Image Transformer) with TPUv2s; and multi-GPU No-U-Turn Sampler (NUTS). For both a state-of-the-art VAE on 64x64 ImageNet and Image Transformer on 256x256 CelebA-HQ, our approach achieves an optimal linear speedup from 1 to 256 TPUv2 chips. With NUTS, we see a 100x speedup on GPUs over Stan and 37x over PyMC3.
The TensorFlow Distributions library implements a vision of probability theory adapted to the modern deep-learning paradigm of end-to-end differentiable computation. Building on two basic abstractions, it offers flexible building blocks for probabilistic computation. Distributions provide fast, numerically stable methods for generating samples and computing statistics, e.g., log density. Bijectors provide composable volume-tracking transformations with automatic caching. Together these enable modular construction of high dimensional distributions and transformations not possible with previous libraries (e.g., pixelCNNs, autoregressive flows, and reversible residual networks). They are the workhorse behind deep probabilistic programming systems like Edward and empower fast black-box inference in probabilistic models built on deep-network components. TensorFlow Distributions has proven an important part of the TensorFlow toolkit within Google and in the broader deep learning community.