Knowledge Removal in Sampling-based Bayesian Inference

Shaopeng Fu · Fengxiang He · Dacheng Tao

Keywords: [ Markov chain Monte Carlo ] [ bayesian inference ]


The right to be forgotten has been legislated in many countries, but its enforcement in the AI industry would cause unbearable costs. When single data deletion requests come, companies may need to delete the whole models learned with massive resources. Existing works propose methods to remove knowledge learned from data for explicitly parameterized models, which however are not appliable to the sampling-based Bayesian inference, {\it i.e.}, Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC), as MCMC can only infer implicit distributions. In this paper, we propose the first machine unlearning algorithm for MCMC. We first convert the MCMC unlearning problem into an explicit optimization problem. Based on this problem conversion, an {\it MCMC influence function} is designed to provably characterize the learned knowledge from data, which then delivers the MCMC unlearning algorithm. Theoretical analysis shows that MCMC unlearning would not compromise the generalizability of the MCMC models. Experiments on Gaussian mixture models and Bayesian neural networks confirm the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm. The code is available at \url{}.

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