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Workshop: OPT 2023: Optimization for Machine Learning

Optimal Transport for Kernel Gaussian Mixture Models

Jung Hun Oh · Rena Elkin · Anish Simhal · Jiening Zhu · Joseph Deasy · Allen Tannenbaum


The Wasserstein distance from optimal mass transport (OMT) is a powerful mathematical tool with numerous applications that provides a natural measure of the distance between two probability distributions. Several methods to incorporate OMT into widely used probabilistic models, such as Gaussian or Gaussian mixture, have been developed to enhance the capability of modeling complex multimodal densities of real datasets. However, very few studies have explored the OMT problems in a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS), wherein the kernel trick is utilized to avoid the need to explicitly map input data into a high-dimensional feature space. In the current study, we propose a Wasserstein-type metric to compute the distance between two Gaussian mixtures in a RKHS via the kernel trick, i.e., kernel Gaussian mixture models.

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