Convolutional Normalizing Flows for Deep Gaussian Processes

17 Apr 2021  ·  Haibin Yu, Dapeng Liu, Yizhou Chen, Bryan Kian Hsiang Low, Patrick Jaillet ·

Deep Gaussian processes (DGPs), a hierarchical composition of GP models, have successfully boosted the expressive power of their single-layer counterpart. However, it is impossible to perform exact inference in DGPs, which has motivated the recent development of variational inference-based methods. Unfortunately, either these methods yield a biased posterior belief or it is difficult to evaluate their convergence. This paper introduces a new approach for specifying flexible, arbitrarily complex, and scalable approximate posterior distributions. The posterior distribution is constructed through a normalizing flow (NF) which transforms a simple initial probability into a more complex one through a sequence of invertible transformations. Moreover, a novel convolutional normalizing flow (CNF) is developed to improve the time efficiency and capture dependency between layers. Empirical evaluation shows that CNF DGP outperforms the state-of-the-art approximation methods for DGPs.

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