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Distributed Bayesian Posterior Sampling via Moment Sharing
Minjie Xu · Balaji Lakshminarayanan · Yee Whye Teh · Jun Zhu · Bo Zhang

Thu Dec 11 11:00 AM -- 03:00 PM (PST) @ Level 2, room 210D

We propose a distributed Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) inference algorithm for large scale Bayesian posterior simulation. We assume that the dataset is partitioned and stored across nodes of a cluster. Our procedure involves an independent MCMC posterior sampler at each node based on its local partition of the data. Moment statistics of the local posteriors are collected from each sampler and propagated across the cluster using expectation propagation message passing with low communication costs. The moment sharing scheme improves posterior estimation quality by enforcing agreement among the samplers. We demonstrate the speed and inference quality of our method with empirical studies on Bayesian logistic regression and sparse linear regression with a spike-and-slab prior.

Author Information

Minjie Xu (Bloomberg LP)
Balaji Lakshminarayanan (Google Brain)
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.

Jun Zhu (Tsinghua University)
Bo Zhang (Tsinghua University)

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