User:Timothee Flutre/Notebook/Postdoc/2012/08/16

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Variational Bayes approach for the mixture of Normals

  • Motivation: I have described on another page the basics of mixture models and the EM algorithm in a frequentist context. It is worth reading before continuing. Here I am interested in the Bayesian approach as well as in a specific variational method (nicknamed "Variational Bayes").


  • Data: we have N univariate observations, y_1, \ldots, y_N, gathered into the vector \mathbf{y}.


  • Assumptions: we assume the observations to be exchangeable and distributed according to a mixture of K Normal distributions. The parameters of this model are the mixture weights (wk), the means (μk) and the precisions (τk) of each mixture components, all gathered into \Theta = \{w_1,\ldots,w_K,\mu_1,\ldots,\mu_K,\tau_1,\ldots,\tau_K\}. There are two constraints: \sum_{k=1}^K w_k = 1 and \forall k \; w_k > 0.


  • Observed likelihood: p(\mathbf{y} | \Theta, K) = \prod_{n=1}^N p(y_n|\Theta,K) = \prod_{n=1}^N \sum_{k=1}^K w_k Normal(y_n;\mu_k,\tau_k^{-1})


  • Latent variables: let's introduce N latent variables, z_1,\ldots,z_N, gathered into the vector \mathbf{z}. Each zn is a vector of length K with a single 1 indicating the component to which the nth observation belongs, and K-1 zeroes.


  • Augmented likelihood: p(\mathbf{y},\mathbf{z}|\Theta,K) = \prod_{n=1}^N p(y_n,z_n|\Theta,K) = \prod_{n=1}^N p(z_n|\Theta,K) p(y_n|z_n,\Theta,K) = \prod_{n=1}^N \prod_{k=1}^K w_k^{z_{nk}} Normal(y_n;\mu_k,\tau_k^{-1})^{z_{nk}}


  • Priors: we choose conjuguate ones
    • for the parameters: \forall k \; \mu_k | \tau_k \sim Normal(\mu_0,(\tau_0 \tau_k)^{-1}) and \forall k \; \tau_k \sim Gamma(\alpha,\beta)
    • for the latent variables: \forall n \; z_n \sim Multinomial_K(1,\mathbf{w}) and \mathbf{w} \sim Dirichlet(\gamma)



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