Badr-Eddine Chérief-Abdellatif

University of Oxford University of Oxford

A Theoretical Study of Variational Inference

Statistics Seminar

29th October 2021, 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Virtual Seminar, Zoom link: TBA

Bayesian inference provides an attractive learning framework to analyze and to sequentially update knowledge on streaming data, but is rarely computationally feasible in practice. In the recent years, variational inference (VI) has become more and more popular for approximating intractable posterior distributions in Bayesian statistics and machine learning. Nevertheless, despite promising results in real-life applications, only little attention has been put in the literature towards the theoretical properties of VI. In this talk, we aim to present some recent advances in theory of VI. We will show that VI is consistent under mild conditions and retains the same properties than exact Bayesian inference. We will finally illustrate these results with PAC-Bayes bounds in sparse deep learning.

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