Predicate Exchange: Inference with Declarative Knowledge


Zenna Tavares, Javier Burroni, Edgar Minasyan, Armando Solar-Lezama, Rajesh Ranganath ;
Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Machine Learning, PMLR 97:6186-6195, 2019.


Programming languages allow us to express complex predicates, but existing inference methods are unable to condition probabilistic models on most of them. To support a broader class of predicates, we develop an inference procedure called predicate exchange, which softens predicates. A soft predicate quantifies the extent to which values of model variables are consistent with its hard counterpart. We substitute the likelihood term in the Bayesian posterior with a soft predicate, and develop a variant of replica exchange MCMC to draw posterior samples. We implement predicate exchange as a language agnostic tool which performs a nonstandard execution of a probabilistic program. We demonstrate the approach on sequence models of health and inverse rendering.

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