bayesian inference

Etalumis 'Reverses' Simulations to Reveal New Science


Scientists have built simulations to help explain behavior in the real world, including modeling for disease transmission and prevention, autonomous vehicles, climate science, and in the search for the fundamental secrets of the universe. But how to interpret vast volumes of experimental data in terms of these detailed simulations remains a key challenge. Probabilistic programming offers a solution--essentially reverse-engineering the simulation--but this technique has long been limited due to the need to rewrite the simulation in custom computer languages, plus the intense computing power required. To address this challenge, a multinational collaboration of researchers using computing resources at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) has developed the first probabilistic programming framework capable of controlling existing simulators and running at large-scale on HPC platforms. The system, called Etalumis ("simulate" spelled backwards), was developed by a group of scientists from the University of Oxford, University of British Columbia (UBC), Intel, New York University, CERN, and NERSC as part of a Big Data Center project.

A Gentle Introduction to Monte Carlo Sampling for Probability


Monte Carlo methods are a class of techniques for randomly sampling a probability distribution. There are many problem domains where describing or estimating the probability distribution is relatively straightforward, but calculating a desired quantity is intractable. This may be due to many reasons, such as the stochastic nature of the domain or an exponential number of random variables. Instead, a desired quantity can be approximated by using random sampling, referred to as Monte Carlo methods. These methods were initially used around the time that the first computers were created and remain pervasive through all fields of science and engineering, including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

How Bayes' Theorem is Applied in Machine Learning - KDnuggets


In the previous post we saw what Bayes' Theorem is, and went through an easy, intuitive example of how it works. You can find this post here. If you don't know what Bayes' Theorem is, and you have not had the pleasure to read it yet, I recommend you do, as it will make understanding this present article a lot easier. In this post, we will see the uses of this theorem in Machine Learning. As mentioned in the previous post, Bayes' theorem tells use how to gradually update our knowledge on something as we get more evidence or that about that something.

Probabilistic Model Selection with AIC, BIC, and MDL


Model selection is the problem of choosing one from among a set of candidate models. It is common to choose a model that performs the best on a hold-out test dataset or to estimate model performance using a resampling technique, such as k-fold cross-validation. An alternative approach to model selection involves using probabilistic statistical measures that attempt to quantify both the model performance on the training dataset and the complexity of the model. Examples include the Akaike and Bayesian Information Criterion and the Minimum Description Length. The benefit of these information criterion statistics is that they do not require a hold-out test set, although a limitation is that they do not take the uncertainty of the models into account and may end-up selecting models that are too simple.

Understanding the applications of Probability in Machine Learning


Probability is a measure of uncertainty. Probability applies to machine learning because in the real world, we need to make decisions with incomplete information. Hence, we need a mechanism to quantify uncertainty – which Probability provides us. Using probability, we can model elements of uncertainty such as risk in financial transactions and many other business processes. In contrast, in traditional programming, we work with deterministic problems i.e. the solution is not affected by uncertainty.

Differentially Private Bayesian Linear Regression Machine Learning

Linear regression is an important tool across many fields that work with sensitive human-sourced data. Significant prior work has focused on producing differentially private point estimates, which provide a privacy guarantee to individuals while still allowing modelers to draw insights from data by estimating regression coefficients. We investigate the problem of Bayesian linear regression, with the goal of computing posterior distributions that correctly quantify uncertainty given privately released statistics. We show that a naive approach that ignores the noise injected by the privacy mechanism does a poor job in realistic data settings. We then develop noise-aware methods that perform inference over the privacy mechanism and produce correct posteriors across a wide range of scenarios.

Fixed-Confidence Guarantees for Bayesian Best-Arm Identification Machine Learning

In particular, we justify its use for fixed-confidence best-arm identification . We further propose a variant of TTTS called Top-Two Transportation Cost ( T3C), which disposes of the computational burden of TTTS . As our main contribution, we provide the first sample complexity analysis of TTTS and T3C when coupled with a very natural Bayesian stopping rule, for bandits with Gaussian rewards, solving one of the open questions raised by Russo (2016). We also provide new posterior convergence results for TTTS under two models that are commonly used in practice: bandits with Gaussian and Bernoulli rewards and conjugate priors. 1 Introduction In multi-armed bandits, a learner repeatedly chooses an arm to play, and receives a reward from the associated unknown probability distribution. When the task is best-arm identification (BAI), the learner is not only asked to sample an arm at each stage, but is also asked to output a recommendation (i.e., a guess for the arm with the largest mean reward) after a certain period.

Sampling of Bayesian posteriors with a non-Gaussian probabilistic learning on manifolds from a small dataset Machine Learning

This paper tackles the challenge presented by small-data to the task of Bayesian inference. A novel methodology, based on manifold learning and manifold sampling, is proposed for solving this computational statistics problem under the following assumptions: 1) neither the prior model nor the likelihood function are Gaussian and neither can be approximated by a Gaussian measure; 2) the number of functional input (system parameters) and functional output (quantity of interest) can be large; 3) the number of available realizations of the prior model is small, leading to the small-data challenge typically associated with expensive numerical simulations; the number of experimental realizations is also small; 4) the number of the posterior realizations required for decision is much larger than the available initial dataset. The method and its mathematical aspects are detailed. Three applications are presented for validation: The first two involve mathematical constructions aimed to develop intuition around the method and to explore its performance. The third example aims to demonstrate the operational value of the method using a more complex application related to the statistical inverse identification of the non-Gaussian matrix-valued random elasticity field of a damaged biological tissue (osteoporosis in a cortical bone) using ultrasonic waves.

Large-Scale Characterization and Segmentation of Internet Path Delays with Infinite HMMs Machine Learning

Round-Trip Times are one of the most commonly collected performance metrics in computer networks. Measurement platforms such as RIPE Atlas provide researchers and network operators with an unprecedented amount of historical Internet delay measurements. It would be very useful to automate the processing of these measurements (statistical characterization of paths performance, change detection, recognition of recurring patterns, etc.). Humans are pretty good at finding patterns in network measurements but it can be difficult to automate this to enable many time series being processed at the same time. In this article we introduce a new model, the HDP-HMM or infinite hidden Markov model, whose performance in trace segmentation is very close to human cognition. This is obtained at the cost of a greater complexity and the ambition of this article is to make the theory accessible to network monitoring and management researchers. We demonstrate that this model provides very accurate results on a labeled dataset and on RIPE Atlas and CAIDA MANIC data. This method has been implemented in Atlas and we introduce the publicly accessible Web API.

Scalable Inference for Nonparametric Hawkes Process Using P\'{o}lya-Gamma Augmentation Machine Learning

In this paper, we consider the sigmoid Gaussian Hawkes process model: the baseline intensity and triggering kernel of Hawkes process are both modeled as the sigmoid transformation of random trajectories drawn from Gaussian processes (GP). By introducing auxiliary latent random variables (branching structure, P\'{o}lya-Gamma random variables and latent marked Poisson processes), the likelihood is converted to two decoupled components with a Gaussian form which allows for an efficient conjugate analytical inference. Using the augmented likelihood, we derive an expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm to obtain the maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimate. Furthermore, we extend the EM algorithm to an efficient approximate Bayesian inference algorithm: mean-field variational inference. We demonstrate the performance of two algorithms on simulated fictitious data. Experiments on real data show that our proposed inference algorithms can recover well the underlying prompting characteristics efficiently.