Mixed Membership Models for Time Series

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In this article we discuss some of the consequences of the mixed membership perspective on time series analysis. In its most abstract form, a mixed membership model aims to associate an individual entity with some set of attributes based on a collection of observed data. Although much of the literature on mixed membership models considers the setting in which exchangeable collections of data are associated with each member of a set of entities, it is equally natural to consider problems in which an entire time series is viewed as an entity and the goal is to characterize the time series in terms of a set of underlying dynamic attributes or "dynamic regimes". Indeed, this perspective is already present in the classical hidden Markov model, where the dynamic regimes are referred to as "states", and the collection of states realized in a sample path of the underlying process can be viewed as a mixed membership characterization of the observed time series. Our goal here is to review some of the richer modeling possibilities for time series that are provided by recent developments in the mixed membership framework.

Bayesian Inference and Learning in Gaussian Process State-Space Models with Particle MCMC

arXiv.org Machine Learning

State-space models are successfully used in many areas of science, engineering and economics to model time series and dynamical systems. We present a fully Bayesian approach to inference \emph{and learning} (i.e. state estimation and system identification) in nonlinear nonparametric state-space models. We place a Gaussian process prior over the state transition dynamics, resulting in a flexible model able to capture complex dynamical phenomena. To enable efficient inference, we marginalize over the transition dynamics function and infer directly the joint smoothing distribution using specially tailored Particle Markov Chain Monte Carlo samplers. Once a sample from the smoothing distribution is computed, the state transition predictive distribution can be formulated analytically. Our approach preserves the full nonparametric expressivity of the model and can make use of sparse Gaussian processes to greatly reduce computational complexity.

Modeling Group Dynamics Using Probabilistic Tensor Decompositions

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We propose a probabilistic modeling framework for learning the dynamic patterns in the collective behaviors of social agents and developing profiles for different behavioral groups, using data collected from multiple information sources. The proposed model is based on a hierarchical Bayesian process, in which each observation is a finite mixture of an set of latent groups and the mixture proportions (i.e., group probabilities) are drawn randomly. Each group is associated with some distributions over a finite set of outcomes. Moreover, as time evolves, the structure of these groups also changes; we model the change in the group structure by a hidden Markov model (HMM) with a fixed transition probability. We present an efficient inference method based on tensor decompositions and the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm for parameter estimation.

Robustness in Markov Decision Problems with Uncertain Transition Matrices

Neural Information Processing Systems

Optimal solutions to Markov Decision Problems (MDPs) are very sensitive withrespect to the state transition probabilities. In many practical problems, the estimation of those probabilities is far from accurate. Hence, estimation errors are limiting factors in applying MDPs to realworld problems.We propose an algorithm for solving finite-state and finite-action MDPs, where the solution is guaranteed to be robust with respect to estimation errors on the state transition probabilities.

Dynamic Behavioral Mixed-Membership Model for Large Evolving Networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

The majority of real-world networks are dynamic and extremely large (e.g., Internet Traffic, Twitter, Facebook, ...). To understand the structural behavior of nodes in these large dynamic networks, it may be necessary to model the dynamics of behavioral roles representing the main connectivity patterns over time. In this paper, we propose a dynamic behavioral mixed-membership model (DBMM) that captures the roles of nodes in the graph and how they evolve over time. Unlike other node-centric models, our model is scalable for analyzing large dynamic networks. In addition, DBMM is flexible, parameter-free, has no functional form or parameterization, and is interpretable (identifies explainable patterns). The performance results indicate our approach can be applied to very large networks while the experimental results show that our model uncovers interesting patterns underlying the dynamics of these networks.