Sharp Calibrated Gaussian Processes

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 36 (NeurIPS 2023) Main Conference Track

Bibtex Paper Supplemental


Alexandre Capone, Sandra Hirche, Geoff Pleiss


While Gaussian processes are a mainstay for various engineering and scientific applications, the uncertainty estimates don't satisfy frequentist guarantees and can be miscalibrated in practice. State-of-the-art approaches for designing calibrated models rely on inflating the Gaussian process posterior variance, which yields confidence intervals that are potentially too coarse. To remedy this, we present a calibration approach that generates predictive quantiles using a computation inspired by the vanilla Gaussian process posterior variance but using a different set of hyperparameters chosen to satisfy an empirical calibration constraint. This results in a calibration approach that is considerably more flexible than existing approaches, which we optimize to yield tight predictive quantiles. Our approach is shown to yield a calibrated model under reasonable assumptions. Furthermore, it outperforms existing approaches in sharpness when employed for calibrated regression.