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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Neural network gradient Hamiltonian Monte Carlo.

  • Author(s): Li, Lingge
  • Holbrook, Andrew
  • Shahbaba, Babak
  • Baldi, Pierre
  • et al.

Hamiltonian Monte Carlo is a widely used algorithm for sampling from posterior distributions of complex Bayesian models. It can efficiently explore high-dimensional parameter spaces guided by simulated Hamiltonian flows. However, the algorithm requires repeated gradient calculations, and these computations become increasingly burdensome as data sets scale. We present a method to substantially reduce the computation burden by using a neural network to approximate the gradient. First, we prove that the proposed method still maintains convergence to the true distribution though the approximated gradient no longer comes from a Hamiltonian system. Second, we conduct experiments on synthetic examples and real data to validate the proposed method.

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