Workshop: NeurIPS 2022 Workshop on Score-Based Methods

Proposal of a Score Based Approach to Sampling Using Monte Carlo Estimation of Score and Oracle Access to Target Density

Curtis McDonald · Andrew Barron

Abstract: Score based approaches to sampling have shown much success as a generative algorithm to produce new samples from a target density given a pool of initial samples. In this work, we consider if we have no initial samples from the target density, but rather $0^{th}$ and $1^{st}$ order oracle access to the log likelihood. Such problems may arise in Bayesian posterior sampling, or in training a network from data. Using this knowledge alone, we propose a Monte Carlo method to estimate the score empirically as a particular expectation of a random variable. Using this estimator, we can then run a discrete version of the backward flow SDE to produce samples from the target density. This approach has the benefit of not relying on a pool of initial samples from the target density, and it does not rely on a neural network or other black box model to estimate the score.

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