Efficient Sampling for Gaussian Process Inference using Control Variables

Sampling functions in Gaussian process (GP) models is challenging because of the highly correlated posterior distribution. We describe an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm for sampling from the posterior process of the GP model. This algorithm uses control variables which are auxiliary function values that provide a low dimensional representation of the function. At each iteration, the algorithm proposes new values for the control variables and generates the function from the conditional GP prior. The control variable input locations are found by continuously minimizing an objective function. We demonstrate the algorithm on regression and classification problems and we use it to estimate the parameters of a differential equation model of gene regulation.

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