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Neural Continuous-Discrete State Space Models for Irregularly-Sampled Time Series

Abdul Fatir Ansari · Alvin Heng · Andre Lim · Harold Soh

Meeting Room 316 A-C


Learning accurate predictive models of real-world dynamic phenomena (e.g., climate, biological) remains a challenging task. One key issue is that the data generated by both natural and artificial processes often comprise time series that are irregularly sampled and/or contain missing observations. In this work, we propose the Neural Continuous-Discrete State Space Model (NCDSSM) for continuous-time modeling of time series through discrete-time observations. NCDSSM employs auxiliary variables to disentangle recognition from dynamics, thus requiring amortized inference only for the auxiliary variables. Leveraging techniques from continuous-discrete filtering theory, we demonstrate how to perform accurate Bayesian inference for the dynamic states. We propose three flexible parameterizations of the latent dynamics and an efficient training objective that marginalizes the dynamic states during inference. Empirical results on multiple benchmark datasets across various domains show improved imputation and forecasting performance of NCDSSM over existing models.

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