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Working paper

Robust Variational Inference

arxiv.org. arXiv:1611.09226. Cornell University, 2016
Figurnov M., Struminsky K., Vetrov D.
Variational inference is a powerful tool for approximate inference. However, it mainly focuses on the evidence lower bound as variational objective and the development of other measures for variational inference is a promising area of research. This paper proposes a robust modification of evidence and a lower bound for the evidence, which is applicable when the majority of the training set samples are random noise objects. We provide experiments for variational autoencoders to show advantage of the objective over the evidence lower bound on synthetic datasets obtained by adding uninformative noise objects to MNIST and OMNIGLOT. Additionally, for the original MNIST and OMNIGLOT datasets we observe a small improvement over the non-robust evidence lower bound.