Wang, Nan, Melchior, Jan, Wiskott, Laurenz

We present a theoretical analysis of Gaussian-binary restricted Boltzmann machines (GRBMs) from the perspective of density models. The key aspect of this analysis is to show that GRBMs can be formulated as a constrained mixture of Gaussians, which gives a much better insight into the model's capabilities and limitations. We show that GRBMs are capable of learning meaningful features both in a two-dimensional blind source separation task and in modeling natural images. Further, we show that reported difficulties in training GRBMs are due to the failure of the training algorithm rather than the model itself. Based on our analysis we are able to propose several training recipes, which allowed successful and fast training in our experiments. Finally, we discuss the relationship of GRBMs to several modifications that have been proposed to improve the model.

Baker, Jack, Fearnhead, Paul, Fox, Emily, Nemeth, Christopher

Stochastic gradient Markov chain Monte Carlo (SGMCMC) has become a popular method for scalable Bayesian inference. These methods are based on sampling a discrete-time approximation to a continuous time process, such as the Langevin diffusion. When applied to distributions defined on a constrained space the time-discretization error can dominate when we are near the boundary of the space. We demonstrate that because of this, current SGMCMC methods for the simplex struggle with sparse simplex spaces; when many of the components are close to zero. Unfortunately, many popular large-scale Bayesian models, such as network or topic models, require inference on sparse simplex spaces. To avoid the biases caused by this discretization error, we propose the stochastic Cox-Ingersoll-Ross process (SCIR), which removes all discretization error and we prove that samples from the SCIR process are asymptotically unbiased. We discuss how this idea can be extended to target other constrained spaces. Use of the SCIR process within a SGMCMC algorithm is shown to give substantially better performance for a topic model and a Dirichlet process mixture model than existing SGMCMC approaches.

Baker, Jack, Fearnhead, Paul, Fox, Emily, Nemeth, Christopher

Middleton, Lawrence, Deligiannidis, George, Doucet, Arnaud, Jacob, Pierre E.

We consider the approximation of expectations with respect to the distribution of a latent Markov process given noisy measurements. This is known as the smoothing problem and is often approached with particle and Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods. These methods provide consistent but biased estimators when run for a finite time. We propose a simple way of coupling two MCMC chains built using Particle Independent Metropolis-Hastings (PIMH) to produce unbiased smoothing estimators. Unbiased estimators are appealing in the context of parallel computing, and facilitate the construction of confidence intervals. The proposed scheme only requires access to off-the-shelf Particle Filters (PF) and is thus easier to implement than recently proposed unbiased smoothers. The approach is demonstrated on a L\'evy-driven stochastic volatility model and a stochastic kinetic model.

Halimi, Abdelghafour, Batatia, Hadj, Digabel, Jimmy Le, Josse, Gwendal, Tourneret, Jean-Yves

This paper studies a new Bayesian algorithm for the joint reconstruction and classification of reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) images, with application to the identification of human skin lentigo. The proposed Bayesian approach takes advantage of the distribution of the multiplicative speckle noise affecting the true reflectivity of these images and of appropriate priors for the unknown model parameters. A Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm is proposed to jointly estimate the model parameters and the image of true reflectivity while classifying images according to the distribution of their reflectivity. Precisely, a Metropolis-whitin-Gibbs sampler is investigated to sample the posterior distribution of the Bayesian model associated with RCM images and to build estimators of its parameters, including labels indicating the class of each RCM image. The resulting algorithm is applied to synthetic data and to real images from a clinical study containing healthy and lentigo patients.