Efficient EM-Variational Inference for Hawkes Process

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In classical Hawkes process, the baseline intensity and triggering kernel are assumed to be a constant and parametric function respectively, which limits the model flexibility. To generalize it, we present a fully Bayesian nonparametric model, namely Gaussian process modulated Hawkes process and propose an EM-variational inference scheme. In this model, a transformation of Gaussian process is used as a prior on the baseline intensity and triggering kernel. By introducing a latent branching structure, the inference of baseline intensity and triggering kernel is decoupled and the variational inference scheme is embedded into an EM framework naturally. We also provide a series of schemes to accelerate the inference. Results of synthetic and real data experiments show that the underlying baseline intensity and triggering kernel can be recovered without parametric restriction and our Bayesian nonparametric estimation is superior to other state of the arts.


Structured Variational Inference in Continuous Cox Process Models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We propose a scalable framework for inference in an inhomogeneous Poisson process modeled by a continuous sigmoidal Cox process that assumes the corresponding intensity function is given by a Gaussian process (GP) prior transformed with a scaled logistic sigmoid function. We present a tractable representation of the likelihood through augmentation with a superposition of Poisson processes. This view enables a structured variational approximation capturing dependencies across variables in the model. Our framework avoids discretization of the domain, does not require accurate numerical integration over the input space and is not limited to GPs with squared exponential kernels. We evaluate our approach on synthetic and real-world data showing that its benefits are particularly pronounced on multivariate input settings where it overcomes the limitations of mean-field methods and sampling schemes. We provide the state of-the-art in terms of speed, accuracy and uncertainty quantification trade-offs.


Interaction Point Processes via Infinite Branching Model

AAAI Conferences

Many natural and social phenomena can be modeled by interaction point processes (IPPs) (Diggle et al. 1994), stochastic point processes considering the interaction between points. In this paper, we propose the infinite branching model (IBM), a Bayesian statistical model that can generalize and extend some popular IPPs, e.g., Hawkes process (Hawkes 1971; Hawkes and Oakes 1974). It treats IPP as a mixture of basis point processes with the aid of a distance dependent prior over branching structure that describes the relationship between points. The IBM can estimate point event intensity, interaction mechanism and branching structure simultaneously. A generic Metropolis-within-Gibbs sampling method is also developed for model parameter inference. The experiments on synthetic and real-world data demonstrate the superiority of the IBM.


Optimality of Poisson processes intensity learning with Gaussian processes

arXiv.org Machine Learning

In this paper we provide theoretical support for the so-called "Sigmoidal Gaussian Cox Process" approach to learning the intensity of an inhomogeneous Poisson process on a $d$-dimensional domain. This method was proposed by Adams, Murray and MacKay (ICML, 2009), who developed a tractable computational approach and showed in simulation and real data experiments that it can work quite satisfactorily. The results presented in the present paper provide theoretical underpinning of the method. In particular, we show how to tune the priors on the hyper parameters of the model in order for the procedure to automatically adapt to the degree of smoothness of the unknown intensity and to achieve optimal convergence rates.


Efficient Bayesian Nonparametric Modelling of Structured Point Processes

arXiv.org Machine Learning

This paper presents a Bayesian generative model for dependent Cox point processes, alongside an efficient inference scheme which scales as if the point processes were modelled independently. We can handle missing data naturally, infer latent structure, and cope with large numbers of observed processes. A further novel contribution enables the model to work effectively in higher dimensional spaces. Using this method, we achieve vastly improved predictive performance on both 2D and 1D real data, validating our structured approach.