Campbell, Trevor, Broderick, Tamara

Coherent uncertainty quantification is a key strength of Bayesian methods. But modern algorithms for approximate Bayesian posterior inference often sacrifice accurate posterior uncertainty estimation in the pursuit of scalability. This work shows that previous Bayesian coreset construction algorithms---which build a small, weighted subset of the data that approximates the full dataset---are no exception. We demonstrate that these algorithms scale the coreset log-likelihood suboptimally, resulting in underestimated posterior uncertainty. To address this shortcoming, we develop greedy iterative geodesic ascent (GIGA), a novel algorithm for Bayesian coreset construction that scales the coreset log-likelihood optimally. GIGA provides geometric decay in posterior approximation error as a function of coreset size, and maintains the fast running time of its predecessors. The paper concludes with validation of GIGA on both synthetic and real datasets, demonstrating that it reduces posterior approximation error by orders of magnitude compared with previous coreset constructions.

Lucic, Mario, Faulkner, Matthew, Krause, Andreas, Feldman, Dan

How can we train a statistical mixture model on a massive data set? In this work we show how to construct coresets for mixtures of Gaussians. A coreset is a weighted subset of the data, which guarantees that models fitting the coreset also provide a good fit for the original data set. We show that, perhaps surprisingly, Gaussian mixtures admit coresets of size polynomial in dimension and the number of mixture components, while being independent of the data set size. Hence, one can harness computationally intensive algorithms to compute a good approximation on a significantly smaller data set. More importantly, such coresets can be efficiently constructed both in distributed and streaming settings and do not impose restrictions on the data generating process. Our results rely on a novel reduction of statistical estimation to problems in computational geometry and new combinatorial complexity results for mixtures of Gaussians. Empirical evaluation on several real-world datasets suggests that our coreset-based approach enables significant reduction in training-time with negligible approximation error.

Bachem, Olivier, Lucic, Mario, Krause, Andreas

Coresets are compact representations of data sets such that models trained on a coreset are provably competitive with models trained on the full data set. As such, they have been successfully used to scale up clustering models to massive data sets. While existing approaches generally only allow for multiplicative approximation errors, we propose a novel notion of coresets called lightweight coresets that allows for both multiplicative and additive errors. We provide a single algorithm to construct light-weight coresets for k-Means clustering, Bregman clustering and maximum likelihood estimation of Gaussian mixture models. The algorithm is substantially faster than existing constructions, embarrassingly parallel and resulting coresets are smaller. In an extensive experimental evaluation, we demonstrate that the proposed method outperforms existing coreset constructions.

Coresets are small sets of points that approximate the properties of a larger point-set. For example, given a compact set mathcal{S} subseteq mathbb{R} d, a coreset could be defined as a (weighted) subset of mathcal{S} that approximates the sum of squared distances from mathcal{S} to every linear subspace of mathbb{R} d. As such, coresets can be used as a proxy to the full dataset and provide an important technique to speed up algorithms for solving problems including principal component analysis, latent semantic indexing, etc. In this paper, we provide a structural result that connects the construction of such coresets to approximating matrix products. This structural result implies a simple, randomized algorithm that constructs coresets whose sizes are independent of the number and dimensionality of the input points.

Rosman, Guy, Volkov, Mikhail, Feldman, Dan, III, John W. Fisher, Rus, Daniela

Life-logging video streams, financial time series, and Twitter tweets are a few examples of high-dimensional signals over practically unbounded time. We consider the problem of computing optimal segmentation of such signals by k-piecewise linear function, using only one pass over the data by maintaining a coreset for the signal. The coreset enables fast further analysis such as automatic summarization and analysis of such signals. A coreset (core-set) is a compact representation of the data seen so far, which approximates the data well for a specific task -- in our case, segmentation of the stream. We show that, perhaps surprisingly, the segmentation problem admits coresets of cardinality only linear in the number of segments k, independently of both the dimension d of the signal, and its number n of points. More precisely, we construct a representation of size O(klog n /eps^2) that provides a (1+eps)-approximation for the sum of squared distances to any given k-piecewise linear function. Moreover, such coresets can be constructed in a parallel streaming approach. Our results rely on a novel eduction of statistical estimations to problems in computational geometry. We empirically evaluate our algorithms on very large synthetic and real data sets from GPS, video and financial domains, using 255 machines in Amazon cloud.