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Poster
Wed Dec 5th 10:45 AM -- 12:45 PM @ Room 210 & 230 AB #2
Exponentiated Strongly Rayleigh Distributions
Zelda Mariet · Suvrit Sra · Stefanie Jegelka

Strongly Rayleigh (SR) measures are discrete probability distributions over the subsets of a ground set. They enjoy strong negative dependence properties, as a result of which they assign higher probability to subsets of diverse elements. We introduce in this paper Exponentiated Strongly Rayleigh (ESR) measures, which sharpen (or smoothen) the negative dependence property of SR measures via a single parameter (the exponent) that can intuitively understood as an inverse temperature. We develop efficient MCMC procedures for approximate sampling from ESRs, and obtain explicit mixing time bounds for two concrete instances: exponentiated versions of Determinantal Point Processes and Dual Volume Sampling. We illustrate some of the potential of ESRs, by applying them to a few machine learning tasks; empirical results confirm that beyond their theoretical appeal, ESR-based models hold significant promise for these tasks.