Conditional Matrix Flows for Gaussian Graphical Models

Published: 21 Sept 2023, Last Modified: 02 Nov 2023NeurIPS 2023 posterEveryoneRevisionsBibTeX
Keywords: normalizing flow, variational inference, graphical lasso, gaussian graphical model, bayesian inference
TL;DR: General framework for variational inference with matrix-variate Normalizing Flow in Gaussian Graphical Models
Abstract: Studying conditional independence among many variables with few observations is a challenging task. Gaussian Graphical Models (GGMs) tackle this problem by encouraging sparsity in the precision matrix through $l_q$ regularization with $q\leq1$. However, most GMMs rely on the $l_1$ norm because the objective is highly non-convex for sub-$l_1$ pseudo-norms. In the frequentist formulation, the $l_1$ norm relaxation provides the solution path as a function of the shrinkage parameter $\lambda$. In the Bayesian formulation, sparsity is instead encouraged through a Laplace prior, but posterior inference for different $\lambda$ requires repeated runs of expensive Gibbs samplers. Here we propose a general framework for variational inference with matrix-variate Normalizing Flow in GGMs, which unifies the benefits of frequentist and Bayesian frameworks. As a key improvement on previous work, we train with one flow a continuum of sparse regression models jointly for all regularization parameters $\lambda$ and all $l_q$ norms, including non-convex sub-$l_1$ pseudo-norms. Within one model we thus have access to (i) the evolution of the posterior for any $\lambda$ and any $l_q$ (pseudo-) norm, (ii) the marginal log-likelihood for model selection, and (iii) the frequentist solution paths through simulated annealing in the MAP limit.
Submission Number: 15533