Neural Block Sampling

08/21/2017 ∙ by Tongzhou Wang, et al. ∙ 0

Efficient Monte Carlo inference often requires manual construction of model-specific proposals. We propose an approach to automated proposal construction by training neural networks to provide fast approximations to block Gibbs conditionals. The learned proposals generalize to occurrences of common structural motifs both within a given model and across models, allowing for the construction of a library of learned inference primitives that can accelerate inference on unseen models with no model-specific training required. We explore several applications including open-universe Gaussian mixture models, in which our learned proposals outperform a hand-tuned sampler, and a real-world named entity recognition task, in which our sampler's ability to escape local modes yields higher final F1 scores than single-site Gibbs.



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