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Online Variance Reduction with Mixtures
Zalán Borsos · Sebastian Curi · Yehuda Levy · Andreas Krause

Thu Jun 13 06:30 PM -- 09:00 PM (PDT) @ Pacific Ballroom #157

Adaptive importance sampling for stochastic optimization is a promising approach that offers improved convergence through variance reduction. In this work, we propose a new framework for variance reduction that enables the use of mixtures over predefined sampling distributions, which can naturally encode prior knowledge about the data. While these sampling distributions are fixed, the mixture weights are adapted during the optimization process. We propose VRM, a novel and efficient adaptive scheme that asymptotically recovers the best mixture weights in hindsight and can also accommodate sampling distributions over sets of points. We empirically demonstrate the versatility of VRM in a range of applications.

Author Information

Zalán Borsos (ETH Zurich)
Sebastian Curi (ETH)
Yehuda Levy (ETH Zurich)
Andreas Krause (ETH Zurich)

Andreas Krause is a Professor of Computer Science at ETH Zurich, where he leads the Learning & Adaptive Systems Group. He also serves as Academic Co-Director of the Swiss Data Science Center. Before that he was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Caltech. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University (2008) and his Diplom in Computer Science and Mathematics from the Technical University of Munich, Germany (2004). He is a Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow and a Kavli Frontiers Fellow of the US National Academy of Sciences. He received ERC Starting Investigator and ERC Consolidator grants, the Deutscher Mustererkennungspreis, an NSF CAREER award, the Okawa Foundation Research Grant recognizing top young researchers in telecommunications as well as the ETH Golden Owl teaching award. His research on machine learning and adaptive systems has received awards at several premier conferences and journals, including the ACM SIGKDD Test of Time award 2019 and the ICML Test of Time award 2020. Andreas Krause served as Program Co-Chair for ICML 2018, and is regularly serving as Area Chair or Senior Program Committee member for ICML, NeurIPS, AAAI and IJCAI, and as Action Editor for the Journal of Machine Learning Research.

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