Spatially Aggregated Gaussian Processes with Multivariate Areal Outputs

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

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Yusuke Tanaka, Toshiyuki Tanaka, Tomoharu Iwata, Takeshi Kurashima, Maya Okawa, Yasunori Akagi, Hiroyuki Toda


We propose a probabilistic model for inferring the multivariate function from multiple areal data sets with various granularities. Here, the areal data are observed not at location points but at regions. Existing regression-based models can only utilize the sufficiently fine-grained auxiliary data sets on the same domain (e.g., a city). With the proposed model, the functions for respective areal data sets are assumed to be a multivariate dependent Gaussian process (GP) that is modeled as a linear mixing of independent latent GPs. Sharing of latent GPs across multiple areal data sets allows us to effectively estimate the spatial correlation for each areal data set; moreover it can easily be extended to transfer learning across multiple domains. To handle the multivariate areal data, we design an observation model with a spatial aggregation process for each areal data set, which is an integral of the mixed GP over the corresponding region. By deriving the posterior GP, we can predict the data value at any location point by considering the spatial correlations and the dependences between areal data sets, simultaneously. Our experiments on real-world data sets demonstrate that our model can 1) accurately refine coarse-grained areal data, and 2) offer performance improvements by using the areal data sets from multiple domains.