Approximate blocked Gibbs sampling for Bayesian neural networks


In this work, minibatch MCMC sampling for feedforward neural networks is made more feasible. To this end, it is proposed to sample subgroups of parameters via a blocked Gibbs sampling scheme. By partitioning the parameter space, sampling is possible irrespective of layer width. It is also possible to alleviate vanishing acceptance rates for increasing depth by reducing the proposal variance in deeper layers. Increasing the length of a non-convergent chain increases the predictive accuracy in classification tasks, so avoiding vanishing acceptance rates and consequently enabling longer chain runs have practical benefits. Moreover, non-convergent chain realizations aid in the quantification of predictive uncertainty. An open problem is how to perform minibatch MCMC sampling for feedforward neural networks in the presence of augmented data.

In Statistics and Computing
Theodore Papamarkou
Theodore Papamarkou
Professor in maths of data science

Knowing is not enough, one must compute.