Spatial Normalized Gamma Processes

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Vinayak Rao, Yee Teh


Dependent Dirichlet processes (DPs) are dependent sets of random measures, each being marginally Dirichlet process distributed. They are used in Bayesian nonparametric models when the usual exchangebility assumption does not hold. We propose a simple and general framework to construct dependent DPs by marginalizing and normalizing a single gamma process over an extended space. The result is a set of DPs, each located at a point in a space such that neighboring DPs are more dependent. We describe Markov chain Monte Carlo inference, involving the typical Gibbs sampling and three different Metropolis-Hastings proposals to speed up convergence. We report an empirical study of convergence speeds on a synthetic dataset and demonstrate an application of the model to topic modeling through time.