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- Marco F. Cusumano-Towner, Vikash K. Mansinghka
- ArXiv
- 2016

This paper introduces a new technique for quantifying the approximation error of a broad class of probabilistic inference programs, including ones based on both variational and Monte Carlo approaches. The key idea is to derive a subjective bound on the symmetrized KL divergence between the distribution achieved by an approximate inference program and its… (More)

- Marco F. Cusumano-Towner, Vikash K. Mansinghka
- ArXiv
- 2016

A key limitation of sampling algorithms for approximate inference is that it is difficult to quantify their approximation error. Widely used sampling schemes, such as sequential importance sampling with resampling and MetropolisHastings, produce output samples drawn from a distribution that may be far from the target posterior distribution. This paper shows… (More)

- Marco F. Cusumano-Towner, Vikash K. Mansinghka
- ArXiv
- 2017

Approximate probabilistic inference algorithms are central to many fields. Examples include sequential Monte Carlo inference in robotics, variational inference in machine learning, and Markov chain Monte Carlo inference in statistics. A key problem faced by practitioners is measuring the accuracy of an approximate inference algorithm on a specific dataset.… (More)

- Marco F. Cusumano-Towner, Vikash K. Mansinghka
- ArXiv
- 2016

This paper introduces the probabilistic module interface, which allows encapsulation of complex probabilistic models with latent variables alongside custom stochastic approximate inference machinery, and provides a platform-agnostic abstraction barrier separating the model internals from the host probabilistic inference system. The interface can be seen as… (More)

Intelligent systems sometimes need to infer the probable goals of people, cars, and robots, based on partial observations of their motion. This paper introduces a class of probabilis-tic programs for formulating and solving these problems. The formulation uses randomized path planning algorithms as the basis for prob-abilistic models of the process by which… (More)

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