**Riemann-Theta Boltzmann Machine**

A general Boltzmann machine with continuous visible and discrete integer valued hidden states is introduced. Under mild assumptions about the connection matrices, the probability density function of the visible units can be solved for analytically, yielding a novel parametric density function involving a ratio of Riemann-Theta functions. The conditional expectation of a hidden state for given visible states can also be calculated analytically, yielding a derivative of the logarithmic Riemann-Theta function. The conditional expectation can be used as activation function in a feedforward neural network, thereby increasing the modelling capacity of the network. Both the Boltzmann machine and the derived feedforward neural network can be successfully trained via standard gradient- and non-gradient-based optimization techniques. … **Hierarchical Compositional Network (HCN)**

We introduce the hierarchical compositional network (HCN), a directed generative model able to discover and disentangle, without supervision, the building blocks of a set of binary images. The building blocks are binary features defined hierarchically as a composition of some of the features in the layer immediately below, arranged in a particular manner. At a high level, HCN is similar to a sigmoid belief network with pooling. Inference and learning in HCN are very challenging and existing variational approximations do not work satisfactorily. A main contribution of this work is to show that both can be addressed using max-product message passing (MPMP) with a particular schedule (no EM required). Also, using MPMP as an inference engine for HCN makes new tasks simple: adding supervision information, classifying images, or performing inpainting all correspond to clamping some variables of the model to their known values and running MPMP on the rest. When used for classification, fast inference with HCN has exactly the same functional form as a convolutional neural network (CNN) with linear activations and binary weights. However, HCN’s features are qualitatively very different. … **Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy (CMA-ES)**

CMA-ES stands for Covariance Matrix Adaptation Evolution Strategy. Evolution strategies (ES) are stochastic, derivative-free methods for numerical optimization of non-linear or non-convex continuous optimization problems. They belong to the class of evolutionary algorithms and evolutionary computation. An evolutionary algorithm is broadly based on the principle of biological evolution, namely the repeated interplay of variation (via recombination and mutation) and selection: in each generation (iteration) new individuals (candidate solutions, denoted as x) are generated by variation, usually in a stochastic way, of the current parental individuals. Then, some individuals are selected to become the parents in the next generation based on their fitness or objective function value f(x). Like this, over the generation sequence, individuals with better and better f-values are generated. In an evolution strategy, new candidate solutions are sampled according to a multivariate normal distribution in the R^n. Recombination amounts to selecting a new mean value for the distribution. Mutation amounts to adding a random vector, a perturbation with zero mean. Pairwise dependencies between the variables in the distribution are represented by a covariance matrix. The covariance matrix adaptation (CMA) is a method to update the covariance matrix of this distribution. This is particularly useful, if the function f is ill-conditioned. Adaptation of the covariance matrix amounts to learning a second order model of the underlying objective function similar to the approximation of the inverse Hessian matrix in the Quasi-Newton method in classical optimization. In contrast to most classical methods, fewer assumptions on the nature of the underlying objective function are made. Only the ranking between candidate solutions is exploited for learning the sample distribution and neither derivatives nor even the function values themselves are required by the method. …

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