Efficient Multiscale Sampling from Products of Gaussian Mixtures

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 16 (NIPS 2003)

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Alexander Ihler, Erik Sudderth, William Freeman, Alan Willsky


The problem of approximating the product of several Gaussian mixture distributions arises in a number of contexts, including the nonparametric belief propagation (NBP) inference algorithm and the training of prod- uct of experts models. This paper develops two multiscale algorithms for sampling from a product of Gaussian mixtures, and compares their performance to existing methods. The first is a multiscale variant of pre- viously proposed Monte Carlo techniques, with comparable theoretical guarantees but improved empirical convergence rates. The second makes use of approximate kernel density evaluation methods to construct a fast approximate sampler, which is guaranteed to sample points to within a tunable parameter (cid:15) of their true probability. We compare both multi- scale samplers on a set of computational examples motivated by NBP, demonstrating significant improvements over existing methods.