[edit]

# Efficient online inference for nonparametric mixture models

*Proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence*, PMLR 161:2072-2081, 2021.

#### Abstract

Natural data are often well-described as belonging to latent clusters. When the number of clusters is unknown, Bayesian nonparametric (BNP) models can provide a flexible and powerful technique to model the data. However, algorithms for inference in nonparametric mixture models fail to meet two critical requirements for practical use: (1) that inference can be performed online, and (2) that inference is efficient in the large time/sample limit. In this work, we propose a novel Bayesian recursion to efficiently infer a posterior distribution over discrete latent variables from a sequence of observations in an online manner, assuming a Chinese Restaurant Process prior on the sequence of latent variables. Our recursive filter, which we call the Recursive Chinese Restaurant Process (R-CRP), has quasilinear average time complexity and logarithmic average space complexity in the total number of observations. We experimentally compare our filtering method against both online and offline inference algorithms including Markov chain Monte Carlo, variational approximations and DP-Means, and demonstrate that our inference algorithm achieves comparable or better performance for a fraction of the runtime.