Keywords: [ coresets ] [ Reproducing kernel Hilbert space ] [ maximum mean discrepancy ] [ Markov chain Monte Carlo ] [ compression ]
The kernel thinning (KT) algorithm of Dwivedi and Mackey (2021) compresses a probability distribution more effectively than independent sampling by targeting a reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) and leveraging a less smooth square-root kernel. Here we provide four improvements. First, we show that KT applied directly to the target RKHS yields tighter, dimension-free guarantees for any kernel, any distribution, and any fixed function in the RKHS. Second, we show that, for analytic kernels like Gaussian, inverse multiquadric, and sinc, target KT admits maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) guarantees comparable to or better than those of square-root KT without making explicit use of a square-root kernel. Third, we prove that KT with a fractional power kernel yields better-than-Monte-Carlo MMD guarantees for non-smooth kernels, like Laplace and Matern, that do not have square-roots. Fourth, we establish that KT applied to a sum of the target and power kernels (a procedure we call KT+) simultaneously inherits the improved MMD guarantees of power KT and the tighter individual function guarantees of target KT. In our experiments with target KT and KT+, we witness significant improvements in integration error even in 100 dimensions and when compressing challenging differential equation posteriors.