Stochastic Gradient Hamiltonian Monte Carlo Methods with Recursive Variance Reduction

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 32 (NeurIPS 2019)

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Difan Zou, Pan Xu, Quanquan Gu


Stochastic Gradient Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (SGHMC) algorithms have received increasing attention in both theory and practice. In this paper, we propose a Stochastic Recursive Variance-Reduced gradient HMC (SRVR-HMC) algorithm. It makes use of a semi-stochastic gradient estimator that recursively accumulates the gradient information to reduce the variance of the stochastic gradient. We provide a convergence analysis of SRVR-HMC for sampling from a class of non-log-concave distributions and show that SRVR-HMC converges faster than all existing HMC-type algorithms based on underdamped Langevin dynamics. Thorough experiments on synthetic and real-world datasets validate our theory and demonstrate the superiority of SRVR-HMC.