Variational Bayesian Stochastic Complexity of Mixture Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 18 (NIPS 2005)

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Kazuho Watanabe, Sumio Watanabe


The Variational Bayesian framework has been widely used to approximate the Bayesian learning. In various applications, it has provided computational tractability and good generalization performance. In this paper, we discuss the Variational Bayesian learning of the mixture of exponential families and provide some additional theoretical support by deriving the asymptotic form of the stochastic complexity. The stochastic complexity, which corresponds to the minimum free energy and a lower bound of the marginal likelihood, is a key quantity for model selection. It also enables us to discuss the effect of hyperparameters and the accuracy of the Variational Bayesian approach as an approximation of the true Bayesian learning.