We introduce a new principle for model selection in regression and classification. Many regression models are controlled by some smoothness or flexibility or complexity parameter c, e.g. the number of neighbors to be averaged over in k nearest neighbor (kNN) regression or the polynomial degree in regression with polynomials. Let f_D^c be the (best) regressor of complexity c on data D. A more flexible regressor can fit more data D' well than a more rigid one. If something (here small loss) is easy to achieve it's typically worth less. We define the loss rank of f_D^c as the number of other (fictitious) data D' that are fitted better by f_D'^c than D is fitted by f_D^c. We suggest selecting the model complexity c that has minimal loss rank (LoRP). Unlike most penalized maximum likelihood variants (AIC,BIC,MDL), LoRP only depends on the regression function and loss function. It works without a stochastic noise model, and is directly applicable to any non-parametric regressor, like kNN. In this paper we formalize, discuss, and motivate LoRP, study it for specific regression problems, in particular linear ones, and compare it to other model selection schemes.
Existing methods for structure discovery in time series data construct interpretable, compositional kernels for Gaussian process regression models. While the learned Gaussian process model provides posterior mean and variance estimates, typically the structure is learned via a greedy optimization procedure. This restricts the space of possible solutions and leads to over-confident uncertainty estimates. We introduce a fully Bayesian approach, inferring a full posterior over structures, which more reliably captures the uncertainty of the model.
We consider Bayesian analysis of a class of multiple changepoint models. While there are a variety of efficient ways to analyse these models if the parameters associated with each segment are independent, there are few general approaches for models where the parameters are dependent. Under the assumption that the dependence is Markov, we propose an efficient online algorithm for sampling from an approximation to the posterior distribution of the number and position of the changepoints. In a simulation study, we show that the approximation introduced is negligible. We illustrate the power of our approach through fitting piecewise polynomial models to data, under a model which allows for either continuity or discontinuity of the underlying curve at each changepoint. This method is competitive with, or out-performs, other methods for inferring curves from noisy data; and uniquely it allows for inference of the locations of discontinuities in the underlying curve.
We propose a Bayesian nonparametric approach to the problem of jointly modeling multiple related time series. Our approach is based on the discovery of a set of latent, shared dynamical behaviors. Using a beta process prior, the size of the set and the sharing pattern are both inferred from data. We develop efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo methods based on the Indian buffet process representation of the predictive distribution of the beta process, without relying on a truncated model. In particular, our approach uses the sum-product algorithm to efficiently compute Metropolis-Hastings acceptance probabilities, and explores new dynamical behaviors via birth and death proposals. We examine the benefits of our proposed feature-based model on several synthetic datasets, and also demonstrate promising results on unsupervised segmentation of visual motion capture data.