Sliced Kernelized Stein Discrepancy

Wenbo Gong · Yingzhen Li · José Miguel Hernández Lobato

Keywords: [ particle inference ] [ kernel methods ] [ variational inference ]


Kernelized Stein discrepancy (KSD), though being extensively used in goodness-of-fit tests and model learning, suffers from the curse-of-dimensionality. We address this issue by proposing the sliced Stein discrepancy and its scalable and kernelized variants, which employs kernel-based test functions defined on the optimal one-dimensional projections. When applied to goodness-of-fit tests, extensive experiments show the proposed discrepancy significantly outperforms KSD and various baselines in high dimensions. For model learning, we show its advantages by training an independent component analysis when compared with existing Stein discrepancy baselines. We further propose a novel particle inference method called sliced Stein variational gradient descent (S-SVGD) which alleviates the mode-collapse issue of SVGD in training variational autoencoders.

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