Augment and reduce: Stochastic inference for large Categorical distributions

Francisco J.R. Ruiz, Michalis K. Titsias, Adji B. Dieng, David M. Blei

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

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Categorical distributions are ubiquitous in machine learning, e.g., in classification, language models, and recommendation systems. However, when the number of possible outcomes is very large, using categorical distributions becomes computationally expensive, as the complexity scales linearly with the number of outcomes. To address this problem, we propose augment and reduce (A&R), a method to alleviate the computational complexity. A&R uses two ideas: latent variable augmentation and stochastic variational inference. It maximizes a lower bound on the marginal likelihood of the data. Unlike existing methods which are specific to softmax, A&R is more general and is amenable to other categorical models, such as multinomial probit. On several large-scale classification problems, we show that A&R provides a tighter bound on the marginal likelihood and has better predictive performance than existing approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication35th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2018
EditorsAndreas Krause, Jennifer Dy
PublisherInternational Machine Learning Society (IMLS)
Pages6997-7006
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781510867963
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event35th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2018 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: Jul 10 2018Jul 15 2018

Publication series

Name35th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2018
Volume10

Other

Other35th International Conference on Machine Learning, ICML 2018
Country/TerritorySweden
CityStockholm
Period7/10/187/15/18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Software

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