Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)
Vincent Dutordoir, Hugh Salimbeni, James Hensman, Marc Deisenroth
Conditional Density Estimation (CDE) models deal with estimating conditional distributions. The conditions imposed on the distribution are the inputs of the model. CDE is a challenging task as there is a fundamental trade-off between model complexity, representational capacity and overfitting. In this work, we propose to extend the model's input with latent variables and use Gaussian processes (GP) to map this augmented input onto samples from the conditional distribution. Our Bayesian approach allows for the modeling of small datasets, but we also provide the machinery for it to be applied to big data using stochastic variational inference. Our approach can be used to model densities even in sparse data regions, and allows for sharing learned structure between conditions. We illustrate the effectiveness and wide-reaching applicability of our model on a variety of real-world problems, such as spatio-temporal density estimation of taxi drop-offs, non-Gaussian noise modeling, and few-shot learning on omniglot images.