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# Tensor Gaussian Process with Contraction for Multi-Channel Imaging Analysis

*Proceedings of the 40th International Conference on Machine Learning*, PMLR 202:32913-32935, 2023.

#### Abstract

Multi-channel imaging data is a prevalent data format in scientific fields such as astronomy and biology. The structured information and the high dimensionality of these 3-D tensor data makes the analysis an intriguing but challenging topic for statisticians and practitioners. The low-rank scalar-on-tensor regression model, in particular, has received widespread attention and has been re-formulated as a tensor Gaussian Process (Tensor-GP) model with multi-linear kernel in Yu et al. (2018). In this paper, we extend the Tensor-GP model by introducing an integrative dimensionality reduction technique, called tensor contraction, with a Tensor-GP for a scalar-on-tensor regression task with multi-channel imaging data. This is motivated by the solar flare forecasting problem with high dimensional multi-channel imaging data. We first estimate a latent, reduced-size tensor for each data tensor and then apply a multi-linear Tensor-GP on the latent tensor data for prediction. We introduce an anisotropic total-variation regularization when conducting the tensor contraction to obtain a sparse and smooth latent tensor. We then propose an alternating proximal gradient descent algorithm for estimation. We validate our approach via extensive simulation studies and applying it to the solar flare forecasting problem.