Noise-contrastive estimation: A new estimation principle for unnormalized statistical models

Michael Gutmann, Aapo Hyvärinen
Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 9:297-304, 2010.

Abstract

We present a new estimation principle for parameterized statistical models. The idea is to perform nonlinear logistic regression to discriminate between the observed data and some artificially generated noise, using the model log-density function in the regression nonlinearity. We show that this leads to a consistent (convergent) estimator of the parameters, and analyze the asymptotic variance. In particular, the method is shown to directly work for unnormalized models, i.e. models where the density function does not integrate to one. The normalization constant can be estimated just like any other parameter. For a tractable ICA model, we compare the method with other estimation methods that can be used to learn unnormalized models, including score matching, contrastive divergence, and maximum-likelihood where the normalization constant is estimated with importance sampling. Simulations show that noise-contrastive estimation offers the best trade-off between computational and statistical efficiency. The method is then applied to the modeling of natural images: We show that the method can successfully estimate a large-scale two-layer model and a Markov random field.

Cite this Paper


BibTeX
@InProceedings{pmlr-v9-gutmann10a, title = {Noise-contrastive estimation: A new estimation principle for unnormalized statistical models}, author = {Gutmann, Michael and Hyvärinen, Aapo}, booktitle = {Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics}, pages = {297--304}, year = {2010}, editor = {Teh, Yee Whye and Titterington, Mike}, volume = {9}, series = {Proceedings of Machine Learning Research}, address = {Chia Laguna Resort, Sardinia, Italy}, month = {13--15 May}, publisher = {PMLR}, pdf = {http://proceedings.mlr.press/v9/gutmann10a/gutmann10a.pdf}, url = { http://proceedings.mlr.press/v9/gutmann10a.html }, abstract = {We present a new estimation principle for parameterized statistical models. The idea is to perform nonlinear logistic regression to discriminate between the observed data and some artificially generated noise, using the model log-density function in the regression nonlinearity. We show that this leads to a consistent (convergent) estimator of the parameters, and analyze the asymptotic variance. In particular, the method is shown to directly work for unnormalized models, i.e. models where the density function does not integrate to one. The normalization constant can be estimated just like any other parameter. For a tractable ICA model, we compare the method with other estimation methods that can be used to learn unnormalized models, including score matching, contrastive divergence, and maximum-likelihood where the normalization constant is estimated with importance sampling. Simulations show that noise-contrastive estimation offers the best trade-off between computational and statistical efficiency. The method is then applied to the modeling of natural images: We show that the method can successfully estimate a large-scale two-layer model and a Markov random field.} }
Endnote
%0 Conference Paper %T Noise-contrastive estimation: A new estimation principle for unnormalized statistical models %A Michael Gutmann %A Aapo Hyvärinen %B Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics %C Proceedings of Machine Learning Research %D 2010 %E Yee Whye Teh %E Mike Titterington %F pmlr-v9-gutmann10a %I PMLR %P 297--304 %U http://proceedings.mlr.press/v9/gutmann10a.html %V 9 %X We present a new estimation principle for parameterized statistical models. The idea is to perform nonlinear logistic regression to discriminate between the observed data and some artificially generated noise, using the model log-density function in the regression nonlinearity. We show that this leads to a consistent (convergent) estimator of the parameters, and analyze the asymptotic variance. In particular, the method is shown to directly work for unnormalized models, i.e. models where the density function does not integrate to one. The normalization constant can be estimated just like any other parameter. For a tractable ICA model, we compare the method with other estimation methods that can be used to learn unnormalized models, including score matching, contrastive divergence, and maximum-likelihood where the normalization constant is estimated with importance sampling. Simulations show that noise-contrastive estimation offers the best trade-off between computational and statistical efficiency. The method is then applied to the modeling of natural images: We show that the method can successfully estimate a large-scale two-layer model and a Markov random field.
RIS
TY - CPAPER TI - Noise-contrastive estimation: A new estimation principle for unnormalized statistical models AU - Michael Gutmann AU - Aapo Hyvärinen BT - Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics DA - 2010/03/31 ED - Yee Whye Teh ED - Mike Titterington ID - pmlr-v9-gutmann10a PB - PMLR DP - Proceedings of Machine Learning Research VL - 9 SP - 297 EP - 304 L1 - http://proceedings.mlr.press/v9/gutmann10a/gutmann10a.pdf UR - http://proceedings.mlr.press/v9/gutmann10a.html AB - We present a new estimation principle for parameterized statistical models. The idea is to perform nonlinear logistic regression to discriminate between the observed data and some artificially generated noise, using the model log-density function in the regression nonlinearity. We show that this leads to a consistent (convergent) estimator of the parameters, and analyze the asymptotic variance. In particular, the method is shown to directly work for unnormalized models, i.e. models where the density function does not integrate to one. The normalization constant can be estimated just like any other parameter. For a tractable ICA model, we compare the method with other estimation methods that can be used to learn unnormalized models, including score matching, contrastive divergence, and maximum-likelihood where the normalization constant is estimated with importance sampling. Simulations show that noise-contrastive estimation offers the best trade-off between computational and statistical efficiency. The method is then applied to the modeling of natural images: We show that the method can successfully estimate a large-scale two-layer model and a Markov random field. ER -
APA
Gutmann, M. & Hyvärinen, A.. (2010). Noise-contrastive estimation: A new estimation principle for unnormalized statistical models. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, in Proceedings of Machine Learning Research 9:297-304 Available from http://proceedings.mlr.press/v9/gutmann10a.html .

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