Latent Bayesian melding for integrating individual and population models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Authors

Mingjun Zhong, Nigel Goddard, Charles Sutton

Abstract

<p>In many statistical problems, a more coarse-grained model may be suitable for population-level behaviour, whereas a more detailed model is appropriate for accurate modelling of individual behaviour. This raises the question of how to integrate both types of models. Methods such as posterior regularization follow the idea of generalized moment matching, in that they allow matchingexpectations between two models, but sometimes both models are most conveniently expressed as latent variable models. We propose latent Bayesian melding, which is motivated by averaging the distributions over populations statistics of both the individual-level and the population-level models under a logarithmic opinion pool framework. In a case study on electricity disaggregation, which is a type of single-channel blind source separation problem, we show that latent Bayesian melding leads to significantly more accurate predictions than an approach based solely on generalized moment matching.</p>