Probabilistic Transformer For Time Series Analysis

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

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Authors

Binh Tang, David Matteson

Abstract

Generative modeling of multivariate time series has remained challenging partly due to the complex, non-deterministic dynamics across long-distance timesteps. In this paper, we propose deep probabilistic methods that combine state-space models (SSMs) with transformer architectures. In contrast to previously proposed SSMs, our approaches use attention mechanism to model non-Markovian dynamics in the latent space and avoid recurrent neural networks entirely. We also extend our models to include several layers of stochastic variables organized in a hierarchy for further expressiveness. Compared to transformer models, ours are probabilistic, non-autoregressive, and capable of generating diverse long-term forecasts with uncertainty estimates. Extensive experiments show that our models consistently outperform competitive baselines on various tasks and datasets, including time series forecasting and human motion prediction.