Compositional uncertainty in deep Gaussian processes


Gaussian processes (GPs) are nonparametric priors over functions, and fitting a GP to the data implies computing the posterior distribution of the functions consistent with the observed data. Similarly, deep Gaussian processes (DGPs) should allow us to compute the posterior distribution of compositions of multiple functions giving rise to the observations. However, exact Bayesian inference is usually intractable for DGPs, motivating the use of various approximations. We show that the simplifying assumptions for a common type of Variational inference approximation imply that all but one layer of a DGP collapse to a deterministic transformation. We argue that such an inference scheme is suboptimal, not taking advantage of the potential of the model to discover the compositional structure in the data, and propose possible modifications addressing this issue.

Markus Kaiser
Markus Kaiser
Research Scientist

Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and Research Scientist at Siemens AG. I am interested in scalable Bayesian machine learning and Gaussian processes.