Gaussian Process Vine Copulas for Multivariate Dependence


David Lopez-Paz, Jose Miguel Hernández-Lobato, Ghahramani Zoubin ;
Proceedings of the 30th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 28(2):10-18, 2013.


Copulas allow to learn marginal distributions separately from the multivariate dependence structure (copula) that links them together into a density function. Vine factorizations ease the learning of high-dimensional copulas by constructing a hierarchy of conditional bivariate copulas. However, to simplify inference, it is common to assume that each of these conditional bivariate copulas is independent from its conditioning variables. In this paper, we relax this assumption by discovering the latent functions that specify the shape of a conditional copula given its conditioning variables. We learn these functions by following a Bayesian approach based on sparse Gaussian processes with expectation propagation for scalable, approximate inference. Experiments on real-world datasets show that, when modeling all conditional dependencies, we obtain better estimates of the underlying copula of the data.

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