Particle-based variational inference methods (ParVIs) have gained attention in the Bayesian inference literature, for their capacity to yield flexible and accurate approximations. We explore ParVIs from the perspective of Wasscrstcin gradient flows, and make both theoretical and practical contributions. We unify various finite-particle approximations that existing ParVIs use, and recognize that the approximation is essentially a compulsory smoothing treatment, in either of two equivalent forms. This novel understanding reveals the assumptions and relations of existing ParVIs, and also inspires new ParVIs. We propose an acceleration framework and a principled bandwidth-selection method for general ParVIs; these are based on the developed theory and leverage the geometry of the Wasscrstcin space. Experimental results show the improved convergence by the acceleration framework and enhanced sample accuracy by the bandwidth-selection method.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||36th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2019|
|Publisher||International Machine Learning Society (IMLS)firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Number of pages||19|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2019|