State-space models have been successfully used for more than fifty years in different areas of science and engineering. We present a procedure for efficient variational Bayesian learning of nonlinear state-space models based on sparse Gaussian processes. The result of learning is a tractable posterior over nonlinear dynamical systems. In comparison to conventional parametric models, we offer the possibility to straightforwardly trade off model capacity and computational cost whilst avoiding overfitting. Our main algorithm uses a hybrid inference approach combining variational Bayes and sequential Monte Carlo.
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 and learning in nonlinear nonparametric state-space models. We place a Gaussian process prior over the transition dynamics, resulting in a flexible model able to capture complex dynamical phenomena. However, to enable efficient inference, we marginalize over the dynamics of the model and instead infer directly the joint smoothing distribution through the use of specially tailored Particle Markov Chain Monte Carlo samplers. Once an approximation of the smoothing distribution is computed, the state transition predictive distribution can be formulated analytically.
Gaussian state space models have been used for decades as generative models of sequential data. They admit an intuitive probabilistic interpretation, have a simple functional form, and enjoy widespread adoption. We introduce a unified algorithm to efficiently learn a broad class of linear and non-linear state space models, including variants where the emission and transition distributions are modeled by deep neural networks. Our learning algorithm simultaneously learns a compiled inference network and the generative model, leveraging a structured variational approximation parameterized by recurrent neural networks to mimic the posterior distribution. We apply the learning algorithm to both synthetic and real-world datasets, demonstrating its scalability and versatility. We find that using the structured approximation to the posterior results in models with significantly higher held-out likelihood.
In this paper, we introduce and analyze Discriminative State-Space Models for forecasting non-stationary time series. We provide data-dependent generalization guarantees for learning these models based on the recently introduced notion of discrepancy. We provide an in-depth analysis of the complexity of such models. Finally, we also study the generalization guarantees for several structural risk minimization approaches to this problem and provide an efficient implementation for one of them which is based on a convex objective. Papers published at the Neural Information Processing Systems Conference.
Gaussian processes allow for flexible specification of prior assumptions of unknown dynamics in state space models. We present a procedure for efficient Bayesian learning in Gaussian process state space models, where the representation is formed by projecting the problem onto a set of approximate eigenfunctions derived from the prior covariance structure. Learning under this family of models can be conducted using a carefully crafted particle MCMC algorithm. This scheme is computationally efficient and yet allows for a fully Bayesian treatment of the problem. Compared to conventional system identification tools or existing learning methods, we show competitive performance and reliable quantification of uncertainties in the model.