Models, code, and papers for "Arthur Gretton":

A simpler condition for consistency of a kernel independence test

Jan 25, 2015
Arthur Gretton

A statistical test of independence may be constructed using the Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion (HSIC) as a test statistic. The HSIC is defined as the distance between the embedding of the joint distribution, and the embedding of the product of the marginals, in a Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space (RKHS). It has previously been shown that when the kernel used in defining the joint embedding is characteristic (that is, the embedding of the joint distribution to the feature space is injective), then the HSIC-based test is consistent. In particular, it is sufficient for the product of kernels on the individual domains to be characteristic on the joint domain. In this note, it is established via a result of Lyons (2013) that HSIC-based independence tests are consistent when kernels on the marginals are characteristic on their respective domains, even when the product of kernels is not characteristic on the joint domain.

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Kernel Conditional Exponential Family

Apr 08, 2018
Michael Arbel, Arthur Gretton

A nonparametric family of conditional distributions is introduced, which generalizes conditional exponential families using functional parameters in a suitable RKHS. An algorithm is provided for learning the generalized natural parameter, and consistency of the estimator is established in the well specified case. In experiments, the new method generally outperforms a competing approach with consistency guarantees, and is competitive with a deep conditional density model on datasets that exhibit abrupt transitions and heteroscedasticity.

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A Kernel Independence Test for Random Processes

Jun 17, 2014
Kacper Chwialkowski, Arthur Gretton

A new non parametric approach to the problem of testing the independence of two random process is developed. The test statistic is the Hilbert Schmidt Independence Criterion (HSIC), which was used previously in testing independence for i.i.d pairs of variables. The asymptotic behaviour of HSIC is established when computed from samples drawn from random processes. It is shown that earlier bootstrap procedures which worked in the i.i.d. case will fail for random processes, and an alternative consistent estimate of the p-values is proposed. Tests on artificial data and real-world Forex data indicate that the new test procedure discovers dependence which is missed by linear approaches, while the earlier bootstrap procedure returns an elevated number of false positives. The code is available online: .

* In Proceedings of The 31st International Conference on Machine Learning 

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Kernel Instrumental Variable Regression

Jun 01, 2019
Rahul Singh, Maneesh Sahani, Arthur Gretton

Instrumental variable regression is a strategy for learning causal relationships in observational data. If measurements of input X and output Y are confounded, the causal relationship can nonetheless be identified if an instrumental variable Z is available that influences X directly, but is conditionally independent of Y given X. The classic two-stage least squares algorithm (2SLS) simplifies the estimation problem by modeling all relationships as linear functions. We propose kernel instrumental variable regression (KIV), a nonparametric generalization of 2SLS, modeling relations among X, Y, and Z as nonlinear functions in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces (RKHSs). We prove the consistency of KIV under mild assumptions, and derive conditions under which the convergence rate achieves the minimax optimal rate for unconfounded, one-stage RKHS regression. In doing so, we obtain an efficient ratio between training sample sizes used in the algorithm's first and second stages. In experiments, KIV outperforms state of the art alternatives for nonparametric instrumental variable regression.

* 31 pages, 8 figures 

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An Adaptive Test of Independence with Analytic Kernel Embeddings

Oct 15, 2016
Wittawat Jitkrittum, Zoltan Szabo, Arthur Gretton

A new computationally efficient dependence measure, and an adaptive statistical test of independence, are proposed. The dependence measure is the difference between analytic embeddings of the joint distribution and the product of the marginals, evaluated at a finite set of locations (features). These features are chosen so as to maximize a lower bound on the test power, resulting in a test that is data-efficient, and that runs in linear time (with respect to the sample size n). The optimized features can be interpreted as evidence to reject the null hypothesis, indicating regions in the joint domain where the joint distribution and the product of the marginals differ most. Consistency of the independence test is established, for an appropriate choice of features. In real-world benchmarks, independence tests using the optimized features perform comparably to the state-of-the-art quadratic-time HSIC test, and outperform competing O(n) and O(n log n) tests.

* 8 pages of main text 

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A Kernel Test of Goodness of Fit

Sep 27, 2016
Kacper Chwialkowski, Heiko Strathmann, Arthur Gretton

We propose a nonparametric statistical test for goodness-of-fit: given a set of samples, the test determines how likely it is that these were generated from a target density function. The measure of goodness-of-fit is a divergence constructed via Stein's method using functions from a Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space. Our test statistic is based on an empirical estimate of this divergence, taking the form of a V-statistic in terms of the log gradients of the target density and the kernel. We derive a statistical test, both for i.i.d. and non-i.i.d. samples, where we estimate the null distribution quantiles using a wild bootstrap procedure. We apply our test to quantifying convergence of approximate Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods, statistical model criticism, and evaluating quality of fit vs model complexity in nonparametric density estimation.

* 14 pages, 9 figures 

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A Wild Bootstrap for Degenerate Kernel Tests

Sep 27, 2016
Kacper Chwialkowski, Dino Sejdinovic, Arthur Gretton

A wild bootstrap method for nonparametric hypothesis tests based on kernel distribution embeddings is proposed. This bootstrap method is used to construct provably consistent tests that apply to random processes, for which the naive permutation-based bootstrap fails. It applies to a large group of kernel tests based on V-statistics, which are degenerate under the null hypothesis, and non-degenerate elsewhere. To illustrate this approach, we construct a two-sample test, an instantaneous independence test and a multiple lag independence test for time series. In experiments, the wild bootstrap gives strong performance on synthetic examples, on audio data, and in performance benchmarking for the Gibbs sampler.

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Passing Expectation Propagation Messages with Kernel Methods

Jan 02, 2015
Wittawat Jitkrittum, Arthur Gretton, Nicolas Heess

We propose to learn a kernel-based message operator which takes as input all expectation propagation (EP) incoming messages to a factor node and produces an outgoing message. In ordinary EP, computing an outgoing message involves estimating a multivariate integral which may not have an analytic expression. Learning such an operator allows one to bypass the expensive computation of the integral during inference by directly mapping all incoming messages into an outgoing message. The operator can be learned from training data (examples of input and output messages) which allows automated inference to be made on any kind of factor that can be sampled.

* Accepted to Advances in Variational Inference, NIPS 2014 Workshop 

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B-tests: Low Variance Kernel Two-Sample Tests

Feb 10, 2014
Wojciech Zaremba, Arthur Gretton, Matthew Blaschko

A family of maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) kernel two-sample tests is introduced. Members of the test family are called Block-tests or B-tests, since the test statistic is an average over MMDs computed on subsets of the samples. The choice of block size allows control over the tradeoff between test power and computation time. In this respect, the $B$-test family combines favorable properties of previously proposed MMD two-sample tests: B-tests are more powerful than a linear time test where blocks are just pairs of samples, yet they are more computationally efficient than a quadratic time test where a single large block incorporating all the samples is used to compute a U-statistic. A further important advantage of the B-tests is their asymptotically Normal null distribution: this is by contrast with the U-statistic, which is degenerate under the null hypothesis, and for which estimates of the null distribution are computationally demanding. Recent results on kernel selection for hypothesis testing transfer seamlessly to the B-tests, yielding a means to optimize test power via kernel choice.

* Neural Information Processing Systems (2013) 

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Hilbert Space Embeddings of Predictive State Representations

Sep 26, 2013
Byron Boots, Geoffrey Gordon, Arthur Gretton

Predictive State Representations (PSRs) are an expressive class of models for controlled stochastic processes. PSRs represent state as a set of predictions of future observable events. Because PSRs are defined entirely in terms of observable data, statistically consistent estimates of PSR parameters can be learned efficiently by manipulating moments of observed training data. Most learning algorithms for PSRs have assumed that actions and observations are finite with low cardinality. In this paper, we generalize PSRs to infinite sets of observations and actions, using the recent concept of Hilbert space embeddings of distributions. The essence is to represent the state as a nonparametric conditional embedding operator in a Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space (RKHS) and leverage recent work in kernel methods to estimate, predict, and update the representation. We show that these Hilbert space embeddings of PSRs are able to gracefully handle continuous actions and observations, and that our learned models outperform competing system identification algorithms on several prediction benchmarks.

* Appears in Proceedings of the Twenty-Ninth Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI2013) 

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A Kernel Test for Three-Variable Interactions

Jun 10, 2013
Dino Sejdinovic, Arthur Gretton, Wicher Bergsma

We introduce kernel nonparametric tests for Lancaster three-variable interaction and for total independence, using embeddings of signed measures into a reproducing kernel Hilbert space. The resulting test statistics are straightforward to compute, and are used in powerful interaction tests, which are consistent against all alternatives for a large family of reproducing kernels. We show the Lancaster test to be sensitive to cases where two independent causes individually have weak influence on a third dependent variable, but their combined effect has a strong influence. This makes the Lancaster test especially suited to finding structure in directed graphical models, where it outperforms competing nonparametric tests in detecting such V-structures.

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Kernel Bayes' rule

Sep 28, 2011
Kenji Fukumizu, Le Song, Arthur Gretton

A nonparametric kernel-based method for realizing Bayes' rule is proposed, based on representations of probabilities in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces. Probabilities are uniquely characterized by the mean of the canonical map to the RKHS. The prior and conditional probabilities are expressed in terms of RKHS functions of an empirical sample: no explicit parametric model is needed for these quantities. The posterior is likewise an RKHS mean of a weighted sample. The estimator for the expectation of a function of the posterior is derived, and rates of consistency are shown. Some representative applications of the kernel Bayes' rule are presented, including Baysian computation without likelihood and filtering with a nonparametric state-space model.

* 27 pages, 5 figures 

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MERLiN: Mixture Effect Recovery in Linear Networks

Sep 27, 2016
Sebastian Weichwald, Moritz Grosse-Wentrup, Arthur Gretton

Causal inference concerns the identification of cause-effect relationships between variables, e.g. establishing whether a stimulus affects activity in a certain brain region. The observed variables themselves often do not constitute meaningful causal variables, however, and linear combinations need to be considered. In electroencephalographic studies, for example, one is not interested in establishing cause-effect relationships between electrode signals (the observed variables), but rather between cortical signals (the causal variables) which can be recovered as linear combinations of electrode signals. We introduce MERLiN (Mixture Effect Recovery in Linear Networks), a family of causal inference algorithms that implement a novel means of constructing causal variables from non-causal variables. We demonstrate through application to EEG data how the basic MERLiN algorithm can be extended for application to different (neuroimaging) data modalities. Given an observed linear mixture, the algorithms can recover a causal variable that is a linear effect of another given variable. That is, MERLiN allows us to recover a cortical signal that is affected by activity in a certain brain region, while not being a direct effect of the stimulus. The Python/Matlab implementation for all presented algorithms is available on

* IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Signal Processing, 10(7), 1254-1266, 2016 

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A low variance consistent test of relative dependency

May 27, 2015
Wacha Bounliphone, Arthur Gretton, Arthur Tenenhaus, Matthew Blaschko

We describe a novel non-parametric statistical hypothesis test of relative dependence between a source variable and two candidate target variables. Such a test enables us to determine whether one source variable is significantly more dependent on a first target variable or a second. Dependence is measured via the Hilbert-Schmidt Independence Criterion (HSIC), resulting in a pair of empirical dependence measures (source-target 1, source-target 2). We test whether the first dependence measure is significantly larger than the second. Modeling the covariance between these HSIC statistics leads to a provably more powerful test than the construction of independent HSIC statistics by sub-sampling. The resulting test is consistent and unbiased, and (being based on U-statistics) has favorable convergence properties. The test can be computed in quadratic time, matching the computational complexity of standard empirical HSIC estimators. The effectiveness of the test is demonstrated on several real-world problems: we identify language groups from a multilingual corpus, and we prove that tumor location is more dependent on gene expression than chromosomal imbalances. Source code is available for download at

* International Conference on Machine Learning, Jul 2015, Lille, France 

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Maximum Mean Discrepancy Gradient Flow

Jun 11, 2019
Michael Arbel, Anna Korba, Adil Salim, Arthur Gretton

We construct a Wasserstein gradient flow of the maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) and study its convergence properties. The MMD is an integral probability metric defined for a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS), and serves as a metric on probability measures for a sufficiently rich RKHS. We obtain conditions for convergence of the gradient flow towards a global optimum, that can be related to particle transport when optimizing neural networks. We also propose a way to regularize this MMD flow, based on an injection of noise in the gradient. This algorithmic fix comes with theoretical and empirical evidence. The practical implementation of the flow is straightforward, since both the MMD and its gradient have simple closed-form expressions, which can be easily estimated with samples.

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Learning deep kernels for exponential family densities

Nov 22, 2018
Li Wenliang, Dougal Sutherland, Heiko Strathmann, Arthur Gretton

The kernel exponential family is a rich class of distributions,which can be fit efficiently and with statistical guarantees by score matching. Being required to choose a priori a simple kernel such as the Gaussian, however, limits its practical applicability. We provide a scheme for learning a kernel parameterized by a deep network, which can find complex location-dependent local features of the data geometry. This gives a very rich class of density models, capable of fitting complex structures on moderate-dimensional problems. Compared to deep density models fit via maximum likelihood, our approach provides a complementary set of strengths and tradeoffs: in empirical studies, the former can yield higher likelihoods, whereas the latter gives better estimates of the gradient of the log density, the score, which describes the distribution's shape.

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Antithetic and Monte Carlo kernel estimators for partial rankings

Jul 25, 2018
Maria Lomeli, Mark Rowland, Arthur Gretton, Zoubin Ghahramani

In the modern age, rankings data is ubiquitous and it is useful for a variety of applications such as recommender systems, multi-object tracking and preference learning. However, most rankings data encountered in the real world is incomplete, which prevents the direct application of existing modelling tools for complete rankings. Our contribution is a novel way to extend kernel methods for complete rankings to partial rankings, via consistent Monte Carlo estimators for Gram matrices: matrices of kernel values between pairs of observations. We also present a novel variance reduction scheme based on an antithetic variate construction between permutations to obtain an improved estimator for the Mallows kernel. The corresponding antithetic kernel estimator has lower variance and we demonstrate empirically that it has a better performance in a variety of Machine Learning tasks. Both kernel estimators are based on extending kernel mean embeddings to the embedding of a set of full rankings consistent with an observed partial ranking. They form a computationally tractable alternative to previous approaches for partial rankings data. An overview of the existing kernels and metrics for permutations is also provided.

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Model-based Kernel Sum Rule: Kernel Bayesian Inference with Probabilistic Models

Apr 05, 2018
Yu Nishiyama, Motonobu Kanagawa, Arthur Gretton, Kenji Fukumizu

Kernel Bayesian inference is a powerful nonparametric approach to performing Bayesian inference in reproducing kernel Hilbert spaces or feature spaces. In this approach, kernel means are estimated instead of probability distributions, and these estimates can be used for subsequent probabilistic operations (as for inference in graphical models) or in computing the expectations of smooth functions, for instance. Various algorithms for kernel Bayesian inference have been obtained by combining basic rules such as the kernel sum rule (KSR), kernel chain rule, kernel product rule and kernel Bayes' rule. However, the current framework only deals with fully nonparametric inference (i.e., all conditional relations are learned nonparametrically), and it does not allow for flexible combinations of nonparametric and parametric inference, which are practically important. Our contribution is in providing a novel technique to realize such combinations. We introduce a new KSR referred to as the model-based KSR (Mb-KSR), which employs the sum rule in feature spaces under a parametric setting. Incorporating the Mb-KSR into existing kernel Bayesian framework provides a richer framework for hybrid (nonparametric and parametric) kernel Bayesian inference. As a practical application, we propose a novel filtering algorithm for state space models based on the Mb-KSR, which combines the nonparametric learning of an observation process using kernel mean embedding and the additive Gaussian noise model for a state transition process. While we focus on additive Gaussian noise models in this study, the idea can be extended to other noise models, such as the Cauchy and alpha-stable noise models.

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Interpretable Distribution Features with Maximum Testing Power

Oct 28, 2016
Wittawat Jitkrittum, Zoltan Szabo, Kacper Chwialkowski, Arthur Gretton

Two semimetrics on probability distributions are proposed, given as the sum of differences of expectations of analytic functions evaluated at spatial or frequency locations (i.e, features). The features are chosen so as to maximize the distinguishability of the distributions, by optimizing a lower bound on test power for a statistical test using these features. The result is a parsimonious and interpretable indication of how and where two distributions differ locally. An empirical estimate of the test power criterion converges with increasing sample size, ensuring the quality of the returned features. In real-world benchmarks on high-dimensional text and image data, linear-time tests using the proposed semimetrics achieve comparable performance to the state-of-the-art quadratic-time maximum mean discrepancy test, while returning human-interpretable features that explain the test results.

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Learning Theory for Distribution Regression

Oct 21, 2016
Zoltan Szabo, Bharath Sriperumbudur, Barnabas Poczos, Arthur Gretton

We focus on the distribution regression problem: regressing to vector-valued outputs from probability measures. Many important machine learning and statistical tasks fit into this framework, including multi-instance learning and point estimation problems without analytical solution (such as hyperparameter or entropy estimation). Despite the large number of available heuristics in the literature, the inherent two-stage sampled nature of the problem makes the theoretical analysis quite challenging, since in practice only samples from sampled distributions are observable, and the estimates have to rely on similarities computed between sets of points. To the best of our knowledge, the only existing technique with consistency guarantees for distribution regression requires kernel density estimation as an intermediate step (which often performs poorly in practice), and the domain of the distributions to be compact Euclidean. In this paper, we study a simple, analytically computable, ridge regression-based alternative to distribution regression, where we embed the distributions to a reproducing kernel Hilbert space, and learn the regressor from the embeddings to the outputs. Our main contribution is to prove that this scheme is consistent in the two-stage sampled setup under mild conditions (on separable topological domains enriched with kernels): we present an exact computational-statistical efficiency trade-off analysis showing that our estimator is able to match the one-stage sampled minimax optimal rate [Caponnetto and De Vito, 2007; Steinwart et al., 2009]. This result answers a 17-year-old open question, establishing the consistency of the classical set kernel [Haussler, 1999; Gaertner et. al, 2002] in regression. We also cover consistency for more recent kernels on distributions, including those due to [Christmann and Steinwart, 2010].

* Journal of Machine Learning Research, 17(152):1-40, 2016 
* Final version appeared at JMLR, with supplement. Code: arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1402.1754 

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