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MCMC for continuous-time discrete-state systems
Vinayak Rao · Yee Whye Teh

Wed Dec 05 07:00 PM -- 12:00 AM (PST) @ Harrah’s Special Events Center 2nd Floor #None

We propose a simple and novel framework for MCMC inference in continuous-time discrete-state systems with pure jump trajectories. We construct an exact MCMC sampler for such systems by alternately sampling a random discretization of time given a trajectory of the system, and then a new trajectory given the discretization. The first step can be performed efficiently using properties of the Poisson process, while the second step can avail of discrete-time MCMC techniques based on the forward-backward algorithm. We compare our approach to particle MCMC and a uniformization-based sampler, and show its advantages.

Author Information

Vinayak Rao (Purdue University)
Yee Whye Teh (University of Oxford, DeepMind)

I am a Professor of Statistical Machine Learning at the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford and a Research Scientist at DeepMind. I am also an Alan Turing Institute Fellow and a European Research Council Consolidator Fellow. I obtained my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto (working with Geoffrey Hinton), and did postdoctoral work at the University of California at Berkeley (with Michael Jordan) and National University of Singapore (as Lee Kuan Yew Postdoctoral Fellow). I was a Lecturer then a Reader at the Gatsby Computational Neuroscience Unit, UCL, and a tutorial fellow at University College Oxford, prior to my current appointment. I am interested in the statistical and computational foundations of intelligence, and works on scalable machine learning, probabilistic models, Bayesian nonparametrics and deep learning. I was programme co-chair of ICML 2017 and AISTATS 2010.

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