Proceedings Abstracts of the Twenty-Fourth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

IJCAI-15 Distinguished Paper

Bayesian Active Learning for Posterior Estimation / 3605
Kirthevasan Kandasamy, Jeff Schneider, Barnabas Poczos

This paper studies active posterior estimation in a Bayesian setting when the likelihood is expensive to evaluate. Existing techniques for posterior estimation are based on generating samples representative of the posterior. Such methods do not consider efficiency in terms of likelihood evaluations. In order to be query efficient we treat posterior estimation in an active regression framework. We propose two myopic query strategies to choose where to evaluate the likelihood and implement them using Gaussian processes. Via experiments on a series of synthetic and real examples we demonstrate that our approach is significantly more query efficient than existing techniques and other heuristics for posterior estimation.