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Nonparametric Sparse Tensor Factorization with Hierarchical Gamma Processes

Conor Tillinghast · Zheng Wang · Shandian Zhe

Hall E #725

Keywords: [ PM: Variational Inference ] [ PM: Gaussian Processes ] [ PM: Bayesian Models and Methods ] [ PM: Everything Else ] [ T: Probabilistic Methods ] [ Probabilistic Methods ]


We propose a nonparametric factorization approach for sparsely observed tensors. The sparsity does not mean zero-valued entries are massive or dominated. Rather, it implies the observed entries are very few, and even fewer with the growth of the tensor; this is ubiquitous in practice. Compared with the existent works, our model not only leverages the structural information underlying the observed entry indices, but also provides extra interpretability and flexibility — it can simultaneously estimate a set of location factors about the intrinsic properties of the tensor nodes, and another set of sociability factors reflecting their extrovert activity in interacting with others; users are free to choose a trade-off between the two types of factors. Specifically, we use hierarchical Gamma processes and Poisson random measures to construct a tensor-valued process, which can freely sample the two types of factors to generate tensors and always guarantees an asymptotic sparsity. We then normalize the tensor process to obtain hierarchical Dirichlet processes to sample each observed entry index, and use a Gaussian process to sample the entry value as a nonlinear function of the factors, so as to capture both the sparse structure properties and complex node relationships. For efficient inference, we use Dirichlet process properties over finite sample partitions, density transformations, and random features to develop a stochastic variational estimation algorithm. We demonstrate the advantage of our method in several benchmark datasets.

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