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On two ways to use determinantal point processes for Monte Carlo integration
Guillaume Gautier · Rémi Bardenet · Michal Valko

Wed Dec 11 05:00 PM -- 07:00 PM (PST) @ East Exhibition Hall B + C #180

When approximating an integral by a weighted sum of function evaluations, determinantal point processes (DPPs) provide a way to enforce repulsion between the evaluation points. This negative dependence is encoded by a kernel. Fifteen years before the discovery of DPPs, Ermakov & Zolotukhin (EZ, 1960) had the intuition of sampling a DPP and solving a linear system to compute an unbiased Monte Carlo estimator of the integral. In the absence of DPP machinery to derive an efficient sampler and analyze their estimator, the idea of Monte Carlo integration with DPPs was stored in the cellar of numerical integration. Recently, Bardenet & Hardy (BH, 2019) came up with a more natural estimator with a fast central limit theorem (CLT). In this paper, we first take the EZ estimator out of the cellar, and analyze it using modern arguments. Second, we provide an efficient implementation to sample exactly a particular multidimensional DPP called multivariate Jacobi ensemble. The latter satisfies the assumptions of the aforementioned CLT. Third, our new implementation lets us investigate the behavior of the two unbiased Monte Carlo estimators in yet unexplored regimes. We demonstrate experimentally good properties when the kernel is adapted to basis of functions in which the integrand is sparse or has fast-decaying coefficients. If such a basis and the level of sparsity are known (e.g., we integrate a linear combination of kernel eigenfunctions), the EZ estimator can be the right choice, but otherwise it can display an erratic behavior.

Author Information

Guillaume Gautier (CNRS, INRIA, Univ. Lille)
Rémi Bardenet (University of Lille)
Michal Valko (DeepMind Paris and Inria Lille - Nord Europe)
Michal Valko

Michal is a machine learning scientist in DeepMind Paris, tenured researcher at Inria, and the lecturer of the master course Graphs in Machine Learning at l'ENS Paris-Saclay. Michal is primarily interested in designing algorithms that would require as little human supervision as possible. This means 1) reducing the “intelligence” that humans need to input into the system and 2) minimizing the data that humans need to spend inspecting, classifying, or “tuning” the algorithms. That is why he is working on methods and settings that are able to deal with minimal feedback, such as deep reinforcement learning, bandit algorithms, or self-supervised learning. Michal is actively working on represenation learning and building worlds models. He is also working on deep (reinforcement) learning algorithm that have some theoretical underpinning. He has also worked on sequential algorithms with structured decisions where exploiting the structure leads to provably faster learning. He received his Ph.D. in 2011 from the University of Pittsburgh under the supervision of Miloš Hauskrecht and after was a postdoc of Rémi Munos before taking a permanent position at Inria in 2012.

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