Local-Global MCMC kernels: the best of both worlds

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 35 (NeurIPS 2022) Main Conference Track

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Sergey Samsonov, Evgeny Lagutin, Marylou GabriƩ, Alain Durmus, Alexey Naumov, Eric Moulines


Recent works leveraging learning to enhance sampling have shown promising results, in particular by designing effective non-local moves and global proposals. However, learning accuracy is inevitably limited in regions where little data is available such as in the tails of distributions as well as in high-dimensional problems. In the present paper we study an Explore-Exploit Markov chain Monte Carlo strategy ($\operatorname{Ex^2MCMC}$) that combines local and global samplers showing that it enjoys the advantages of both approaches. We prove $V$-uniform geometric ergodicity of $\operatorname{Ex^2MCMC}$ without requiring a uniform adaptation of the global sampler to the target distribution. We also compute explicit bounds on the mixing rate of the Explore-Exploit strategy under realistic conditions. Moreover, we propose an adaptive version of the strategy ($\operatorname{FlEx^2MCMC}$) where a normalizing flow is trained while sampling to serve as a proposal for global moves. We illustrate the efficiency of $\operatorname{Ex^2MCMC}$ and its adaptive version on classical sampling benchmarks as well as in sampling high-dimensional distributions defined by Generative Adversarial Networks seen as Energy Based Models.