Filtering with Abstract Particles


Jacob Steinhardt, Percy Liang ;
Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 32(1):727-735, 2014.


Using particles, beam search and sequential Monte Carlo can approximate distributions in an extremely flexible manner. However, they can suffer from sparsity and inadequate coverage on large state spaces. We present a new filtering method that addresses this issue by using “abstract particles” that each represent an entire region of the state space. These abstract particles are combined into a hierarchical decomposition, yielding a representation that is both compact and flexible. Empirically, our method outperforms beam search and sequential Monte Carlo on both a text reconstruction task and a multiple object tracking task.

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