Abstract: Training dynamic models, such as neural ODEs, on long trajectories is a hard problem that requires using various tricks, such as trajectory splitting, to make model training work in practice. These methods are often heuristics with poor theoretical justifications, and require iterative manual tuning. We propose a principled multiple shooting technique for neural ODEs that splits the trajectories into manageable short segments, which are optimized in parallel, while ensuring probabilistic control on continuity over consecutive segments. We derive variational inference for our shooting-based latent neural ODE models and propose amortized encodings of irregularly sampled trajectories with a transformer-based recognition network with temporal attention and relative positional encoding. We demonstrate efficient and stable training, and state-of-the-art performance on multiple large-scale benchmark datasets.
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