We develop amortized population Gibbs (APG) samplers, a new class of autoencoding variational methods for deep probabilistic models. APG samplers construct high-dimensional proposals by iterating over updates to lower-dimensional blocks of variables. Each conditional update is a neural proposal, which we train by minimizing the inclusive KL divergence relative to the conditional posterior. To appropriately account for the size of the input data, we develop a new parameterization in terms of neural sufficient statistics, resulting in quasi-conjugate variational approximations. Experiments demonstrate that learned proposals converge to the known analytical conditional posterior in conjugate models, and that APG samplers can learn inference networks for highly-structured deep generative models when the conditional posteriors are intractable. Here APG samplers offer a path toward scaling up stochastic variational methods to models in which standard autoencoding architectures fail to produce accurate samples.
Speakers: Hao Wu, Heiko Zimmermann, Eli Sennesh, Tuan Anh Le, Jan-Willem van de Meent