Ambiguous model learning made unambiguous with 1/f priors

G. S. Atwal, William Bialek

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


What happens to the optimal interpretation of noisy data when there exists more than one equally plausible interpretation of the data? In a Bayesian modellearning framework the answer depends on the prior expectations of the dynamics of the model parameter that is to be inferred from the data. Local time constraints on the priors are insufficient to pick one interpretation over another. On the other hand, nonlocal time constraints, induced by a 1/f noise spectrum of the priors, is shown to permit learning of a specific model parameter even when there are infinitely many equally plausible interpretations of the data. This transition is inferred by a remarkable mapping of the model estimation problem to a dissipative physical system, allowing the use of powerful statistical mechanical methods to uncover the transition from indeterminate to determinate model learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 - Proceedings of the 2003 Conference, NIPS 2003
PublisherNeural information processing systems foundation
ISBN (Print)0262201526, 9780262201520
StatePublished - 2004
Event17th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2003 - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Duration: Dec 8 2003Dec 13 2003

Publication series

NameAdvances in Neural Information Processing Systems
ISSN (Print)1049-5258


Other17th Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems, NIPS 2003
CityVancouver, BC

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Signal Processing

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