We propose the hierarchical Dirichlet process (HDP), a nonparametric Bayesian model for clustering problems involving multiple groups of data. Each group of data is modeled with a mixture, with the number of components being open-ended and inferred automatically by the model. Further, components can be shared across groups, allowing dependencies across groups to be modeled effectively as well as conferring generalization tonew groups. Such grouped clustering problems occur often in practice, e.g. in the problem of topic discovery in document corpora. We report experimental results on three text corpora showing the effective and superior performance of the HDP over previous models.
Recent developments in differentially private (DP) machine learning and DP Bayesian learning have enabled learning under strong privacy guarantees for the training data subjects. In this paper, we further extend the applicability of DP Bayesian learning by presenting the first general DP Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm whose privacy-guarantees are not subject to unrealistic assumptions on Markov chain convergence and that is applicable to posterior inference in arbitrary models. Our algorithm is based on a decomposition of the Barker acceptance test that allows evaluating the R\'enyi DP privacy cost of the accept-reject choice. We further show how to improve the DP guarantee through data subsampling and approximate acceptance tests.
Discrete-time hidden Markov models are a broadly useful class of latent-variable models with applications in areas such as speech recognition, bioinformatics, and climate data analysis. It is common in practice to introduce temporal non-homogeneity into such models by making the transition probabilities dependent on time-varying exogenous input variables via a multinomial logistic parametrization. We extend such models to introduce additional non-homogeneity into the emission distribution using a generalized linear model (GLM), with data augmentation for sampling-based inference. However, the presence of the logistic function in the state transition model significantly complicates parameter inference for the overall model, particularly in a Bayesian context. To address this we extend the recently-proposed Polya-Gamma data augmentation approach to handle non-homogeneous hidden Markov models (NHMMs), allowing the development of an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling scheme. We apply our model and inference scheme to 30 years of daily rainfall in India, leading to a number of insights into rainfall-related phenomena in the region. Our proposed approach allows for fully Bayesian analysis of relatively complex NHMMs on a scale that was not possible with previous methods. Software implementing the methods described in the paper is available via the R package NHMM.
When trying to recover 3D structure from a set of images, the most difficult problem is establishing the correspondence between the measurements. Most existing approaches assume that features can be tracked across frames, whereas methods that exploit rigidity constraints to facilitate matching do so only under restricted camera motion.In this paper we propose a Bayesian approach that avoids the brittleness associated with singling out one "best" correspondence, andinstead consider the distribution over all possible correspondences. We treat both a fully Bayesian approach that yields a posterior distribution, and a MAP approach that makes use of EM to maximize this posterior. We show how Markov chain Monte Carlo methods can be used to implement these techniques in practice, and present experimental results on real data.
The National Airspace System (NAS) is a large and complex system with thousands of interrelated components: administration, control centers, airports, airlines, aircraft, passengers, etc. The complexity of the NAS creates many difficulties in management and control. One of the most pressing problems is flight delay. Delay creates high cost to airlines, complaints from passengers, and difficulties for airport operations. As demand on the system increases, the delay problem becomes more and more prominent. For this reason, it is essential for the Federal Aviation Administration to understand the causes of delay and to find ways to reduce delay. Major contributing factors to delay are congestion at the origin airport, weather, increasing demand, and air traffic management (ATM) decisions such as the Ground Delay Programs (GDP). Delay is an inherently stochastic phenomenon. Even if all known causal factors could be accounted for, macro-level national airspace system (NAS) delays could not be predicted with certainty from micro-level aircraft information. This paper presents a stochastic model that uses Bayesian Networks (BNs) to model the relationships among different components of aircraft delay and the causal factors that affect delays. A case study on delays of departure flights from Chicago O'Hare international airport (ORD) to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) reveals how local and system level environmental and human-caused factors combine to affect components of delay, and how these components contribute to the final arrival delay at the destination airport.