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Bayesian Optimization through Gaussian Cox Process Models for Spatio-temporal Data

Yongsheng Mei · Mahdi Imani · Tian Lan

Halle B #198
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Tue 7 May 1:45 a.m. PDT — 3:45 a.m. PDT


Bayesian optimization (BO) has established itself as a leading strategy for efficiently optimizing expensive-to-evaluate functions. Existing BO methods mostly rely on Gaussian process (GP) surrogate models and are not applicable to (doubly-stochastic) Gaussian Cox processes, where the observation process is modulated by a latent intensity function modeled as a GP. In this paper, we propose a novel maximum a posteriori inference of Gaussian Cox processes. It leverages the Laplace approximation and change of kernel technique to transform the problem into a new reproducing kernel Hilbert space, where it becomes more tractable computationally. It enables us to obtain both a functional posterior of the latent intensity function and the covariance of the posterior, thus extending existing works that often focus on specific link functions or estimating the posterior mean. Using the result, we propose a BO framework based on the Gaussian Cox process model and further develop a Nyström approximation for efficient computation. Extensive evaluations on various synthetic and real-world datasets demonstrate significant improvement over state-of-the-art inference solutions for Gaussian Cox processes, as well as effective BO with a wide range of acquisition functions designed through the underlying Gaussian Cox process model.

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