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Nonparanormal Information Estimation
Shashank Singh · Barnabás Póczos

Mon Aug 07 10:48 PM -- 11:06 PM (PDT) @ C4.8

We study the problem of using i.i.d. samples from an unknown multivariate probability distribution p to estimate the mutual information of p. This problem has recently received attention in two settings: (1) where p is assumed to be Gaussian and (2) where p is assumed only to lie in a large nonparametric smoothness class. Estimators proposed for the Gaussian case converge in high dimensions when the Gaussian assumption holds, but are brittle, failing dramatically when p is not Gaussian, while estimators proposed for the nonparametric case fail to converge with realistic sample sizes except in very low dimension. Hence, there is a lack of robust mutual information estimators for many realistic data. To address this, we propose estimators for mutual information when p is assumed to be a nonparanormal (or Gaussian copula) model, a semiparametric compromise between Gaussian and nonparametric extremes. Using theoretical bounds and experiments, we show these estimators strike a practical balance between robustness and scalability.

Author Information

Shashank Singh (Carnegie Mellon University)
Barnabás Póczos (CMU)

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