Understanding the uncertainty of a neural network's (NN) predictions is essential for many purposes. The Bayesian framework provides a principled approach to this, however applying it to NNs is challenging due to large numbers of parameters and data. Ensembling NNs provides an easily implementable, scalable method for uncertainty quantification, however, it has been criticised for not being Bayesian. This work proposes one modification to the usual process that we argue does result in approximate Bayesian inference; regularising parameters about values drawn from a distribution which can be set equal to the prior. A theoretical analysis of the procedure in a simplified setting suggests the recovered posterior is centred correctly but tends to have an underestimated marginal variance, and overestimated correlation. However, two conditions can lead to exact recovery. We argue that these conditions are partially present in NNs. Empirical evaluations demonstrate it has an advantage over standard ensembling, and is competitive with variational methods.

Springenberg, Jost Tobias, Klein, Aaron, Falkner, Stefan, Hutter, Frank

Bayesian optimization is a prominent method for optimizing expensive to evaluate black-box functions that is prominently applied to tuning the hyperparameters of machine learning algorithms. Despite its successes, the prototypical Bayesian optimization approach - using Gaussian process models - does not scale well to either many hyperparameters or many function evaluations. Attacking this lack of scalability and flexibility is thus one of the key challenges of the field. We present a general approach for using flexible parametric models (neural networks) for Bayesian optimization, staying as close to a truly Bayesian treatment as possible. We obtain scalability through stochastic gradient Hamiltonian Monte Carlo, whose robustness we improve via a scale adaptation.

Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) software is software for producing forgeries and imitations of data (aka synthetic data, fake data). Human beings have been making fakes, with good or evil intent, of almost everything they possibly can, since the beginning of the human race. Thus, perhaps not too surprisingly, GAN software has been widely used since it was first proposed in this amazingly recent 2014 paper. To gauge how widely GAN software has been used so far, see, for example, this 2019 article entitled "18 Impressive Applications of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)" Sounds (voices, music,...), Images (realistic pictures, paintings, drawings, handwriting, ...), Text,etc. The forgeries can be tweaked so that they range from being very similar to the originals, to being whimsical exaggerations thereof.

Artificial neural networks (NNs) have become the de facto standard in machine learning. They allow learning highly nonlinear transformations in a plethora of applications. However, NNs usually only provide point estimates without systematically quantifying corresponding uncertainties. In this paper a novel approach towards fully Bayesian NNs is proposed, where training and predictions of a perceptron are performed within the Bayesian inference framework in closed-form. The weights and the predictions of the perceptron are considered Gaussian random variables. Analytical expressions for predicting the perceptron's output and for learning the weights are provided for commonly used activation functions like sigmoid or ReLU. This approach requires no computationally expensive gradient calculations and further allows sequential learning.

This list is intended to introduce some of the tools of Bayesian statistics and machine learning that can be useful to computational research in cognitive science. The first section mentions several useful general references, and the others provide supplementary readings on specific topics. If you would like to suggest some additions to the list, contact Tom Griffiths.