Banded Matrix Operators for Gaussian Markov Models in the Automatic Differentiation Era


Nicolas Durrande, Vincent Adam, Lucas Bordeaux, Stefanos Eleftheriadis, James Hensman ;
Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, PMLR 89:2780-2789, 2019.


Banded matrices can be used as precision matrices in several models including linear state-space models, some Gaussian processes, and Gaussian Markov random fields. The aim of the paper is to make modern inference methods (such as variational inference or gradient-based sampling) available for Gaussian models with banded precision. We show that this can efficiently be achieved by equipping an automatic differentiation framework, such as TensorFlow or PyTorch, with some linear algebra operators dedicated to banded matrices. This paper studies the algorithmic aspects of the required operators, details their reverse-mode derivatives, and show that their complexity is linear in the number of observations.

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