**Principal Points**

The k principal points of a p-variate random variable X are defined as those points x1,…xk which minimize the expected squared distance of X from the nearest of the xj.

High Precision Numerical Computation of Principal Points For Univariate Distributions … **Bayesian Optimization with Cylindrical Kernels (BOCK)**

A major challenge in Bayesian Optimization is the boundary issue (Swersky, 2017) where an algorithm spends too many evaluations near the boundary of its search space. In this paper, we propose BOCK, Bayesian Optimization with Cylindrical Kernels, whose basic idea is to transform the ball geometry of the search space using a cylindrical transformation. Because of the transformed geometry, the Gaussian Process-based surrogate model spends less budget searching near the boundary, while concentrating its efforts relatively more near the center of the search region, where we expect the solution to be located. We evaluate BOCK extensively, showing that it is not only more accurate and efficient, but it also scales successfully to problems with a dimensionality as high as 500. We show that the better accuracy and scalability of BOCK even allows optimizing modestly sized neural network layers, as well as neural network hyperparameters. … **Deterministic Heron Inference (Heron)**

Bayesian graphical models have been shown to be a powerful tool for discovering uncertainty and causal structure from real-world data in many application fields. Current inference methods primarily follow different kinds of trade-offs between computational complexity and predictive accuracy. At one end of the spectrum, variational inference approaches perform well in computational efficiency, while at the other end, Gibbs sampling approaches are known to be relatively accurate for prediction in practice. In this paper, we extend an existing Gibbs sampling method, and propose a new deterministic Heron inference (Heron) for a family of Bayesian graphical models. In addition to the support for nontrivial distributability, one more benefit of Heron is that it is able to not only allow us to easily assess the convergence status but also largely improve the running efficiency. We evaluate Heron against the standard collapsed Gibbs sampler and state-of-the-art state augmentation method in inference for well-known graphical models. Experimental results using publicly available real-life data have demonstrated that Heron significantly outperforms the baseline methods for inferring Bayesian graphical models. …

# If you did not already know

**07**
*Tuesday*
Aug 2018

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