HyperSPNs: Compact and Expressive Probabilistic Circuits

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Authors

Andy Shih, Dorsa Sadigh, Stefano Ermon

Abstract

Probabilistic circuits (PCs) are a family of generative models which allows for the computation of exact likelihoods and marginals of its probability distributions. PCs are both expressive and tractable, and serve as popular choices for discrete density estimation tasks. However, large PCs are susceptible to overfitting, and only a few regularization strategies (e.g., dropout, weight-decay) have been explored. We propose HyperSPNs: a new paradigm of generating the mixture weights of large PCs using a small-scale neural network. Our framework can be viewed as a soft weight-sharing strategy, which combines the greater expressiveness of large models with the better generalization and memory-footprint properties of small models. We show the merits of our regularization strategy on two state-of-the-art PC families introduced in recent literature -- RAT-SPNs and EiNETs -- and demonstrate generalization improvements in both models on a suite of density estimation benchmarks in both discrete and continuous domains.