Tractable Computation of Expected Kernels by Circuits

02/21/2021 ∙ by Wenzhe Li, et al. ∙ 0

Computing the expectation of some kernel function is ubiquitous in machine learning, from the classical theory of support vector machines, to exploiting kernel embeddings of distributions in applications ranging from probabilistic modeling, statistical inference, casual discovery, and deep learning. In all these scenarios, we tend to resort to Monte Carlo estimates as expectations of kernels are intractable in general. In this work, we characterize the conditions under which we can compute expected kernels exactly and efficiently, by leveraging recent advances in probabilistic circuit representations. We first construct a circuit representation for kernels and propose an approach to such tractable computation. We then demonstrate possible advancements for kernel embedding frameworks by exploiting tractable expected kernels to derive new algorithms for two challenging scenarios: 1) reasoning under missing data with kernel support vector regressors; 2) devising a collapsed black-box importance sampling scheme. Finally, we empirically evaluate both algorithms and show that they outperform standard baselines on a variety of datasets.

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