# Publications

We analyze the coordinate descent method with a new coordinate selection strategy, called volume sampling. This strategy prescribes selecting subsets of variables of certain size proportionally to the determinants of principal submatrices of the matrix, which bounds the curvature of the objective function. In the particular case when the size of the subsets equals one, volume sampling coincides with the well-known strategy of sampling coordinates proportionally to their Lipschitz constants. For the coordinate descent with volume sampling, we establish the convergence rates for both convex and strongly convex problems. Our theoretical results show that, by increasing the size of the subsets, it is possible to accelerate the method up to the factor which depends on the spectral gap between the corresponding largest eigenvalues of the curvature matrix. Several numerical experiments confirm our theoretical conclusions.

We propose a way to simulate Cherenkov detector response using a generative adversarial neural network to bypass low-level details. This network is trained to reproduce high level features of the simulated detector events based on input observables of incident particles. This allows the dramatic increase of simulation speed. We demonstrate that this approach provides simulation precision which is consistent with the baseline and discuss possible implications of these results.

Generative models produce realistic objects in many domains, including text, image, video, and audio synthesis. Most popular models—Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and Variational Autoencoders (VAEs)—usually employ a standard Gaussian distribution as a prior. Previous works show that the richer family of prior distributions may help to avoid the mode collapse problem in GANs and to improve the evidence lower bound in VAEs. We propose a new family of prior distributions—Tensor Ring Induced Prior (TRIP)—that packs an exponential number of Gaussians into a high-dimensional lattice with a relatively small number of parameters. We show that these priors improve Fréchet Inception Distance for GANs and Evidence Lower Bound for VAEs. We also study generative models with TRIP in the conditional generation setup with missing conditions. Altogether, we propose a novel plug-and-play framework for generative models that can be utilized in any GAN and VAE-like architectures.

We propose SWA-Gaussian (SWAG), a simple, scalable, and general purpose approach for uncertainty representation and calibration in deep learning. Stochastic Weight Averaging (SWA), which computes the first moment of stochastic gradient descent (SGD) iterates with a modified learning rate schedule, has recently been shown to improve generalization in deep learning. With SWAG, we fit a Gaussian using the SWA solution as the first moment and a low rank plus diagonal covariance also derived from the SGD iterates, forming an approximate posterior distribution over neural network weights; we then sample from this Gaussian distribution to perform Bayesian model averaging. We empirically find that SWAG approximates the shape of the true posterior, in accordance with results describing the stationary distribution of SGD iterates. Moreover, we demonstrate that SWAG performs well on a wide variety of tasks, including out of sample detection, calibration, and transfer learning, in comparison to many popular alternatives including variational inference, MC dropout, KFAC Laplace, and temperature scaling.

Theoretical analysis in [1] suggested that adversarially trained generative models are naturally inclined to learn distribution with low support. In particular, this effect is caused by the limited capacity of the discriminator network. To verify this claim, [2] proposed a statistical test based on the birthday paradox that partially confirmed the analysis. In this paper, we continue this line of work and develop a parameter-free and straightforward method to estimate the support size of an arbitrary decoder-based generative model. Our approach considers the decoder network from a geometric viewpoint and evaluates the support size as the volume of the manifold containing the generative model samples. Additionally, we propose a method to measure non-uniformity of a generative model that can provide additional insight into the model’s behavior. We then apply these tools to perform a quantitative comparison of common generative models.

Interpretability and fairness are critical in computer vision and machine learning applications, in particular when dealing with human outcomes, e.g. inviting or not inviting for a job interview based on application materials that may include photographs. One promising direction to achieve fairness is by learning data representations that remove the semantics of protected characteristics, and are therefore able to mitigate unfair outcomes. All available models however learn latent embeddings which comes at the cost of being uninterpretable. We propose to cast this problem as data-to-data translation, i.e. learning a mapping from an input domain to a fair target domain, where a fairness definition is being enforced. Here the data domain can be images, or any tabular data representation. This task would be straightforward if we had fair target data available, but this is not the case. To overcome this, we learn a highly unconstrained mapping by exploiting statistics of residuals – the difference between input data and its translated version – and the protected characteristics. When applied to the CelebA dataset of face images with gender attribute as the protected characteristic, our model enforces equality of opportunity by adjusting the eyes and lips regions. Intriguingly, on the same dataset we arrive at similar conclusions when using semantic attribute representations of images for translation. On face images of the recent DiF dataset, with the same gender attribute, our method adjusts nose regions. In the Adult income dataset, also with protected gender attribute, our model achieves equality of opportunity by, among others, obfuscating the wife and husband relationship. Analyzing those systematic changes will allow us to scrutinize the interplay of fairness criterion, chosen protected characteristics, and prediction performance.

We extend the existing framework of semi-implicit variational inference (SIVI) and introduce doubly semi-implicit variational inference (DSIVI), a way to perform variational inference and learning when both the approximate posterior and the prior distribution are semi-implicit. In other words, DSIVI performs inference in models where the prior and the posterior can be expressed as an intractable infinite mixture of some analytic density with a highly flexible implicit mixing distribution. We provide a sandwich bound on the evidence lower bound (ELBO) objective that can be made arbitrarily tight. Unlike discriminator-based and kernel-based approaches to implicit variational inference, DSIVI optimizes a proper lower bound on ELBO that is asymptotically exact. We evaluate DSIVI on a set of problems that benefit from implicit priors. In particular, we show that DSIVI gives rise to a simple modification of VampPrior, the current state-of-the-art prior for variational autoencoders, which improves its performance.

Reduction of the number of parameters is one of the most important goals in Deep Learning. In this article we propose an adaptation of Doubly Stochastic Variational Inference for Automatic Relevance Determination (DSVI-ARD) for neural networks compression. We find this method to be especially useful in language modeling tasks, where large number of parameters in the input and output layers is often excessive. We also show that DSVI-ARD can be applied together with encoder-decoder weight tying allowing to achieve even better sparsity and performance. Our experiments demonstrate that more than 90% of the weights in both encoder and decoder layers can be removed with a minimal quality loss.

Variational Inference is a powerful tool in the Bayesian modeling toolkit, however, its effectiveness is determined by the expressivity of the utilized variational distributions in terms of their ability to match the true posterior distribution. In turn, the expressivity of the variational family is largely limited by the requirement of having a tractable density function. To overcome this roadblock, we introduce a new family of variational upper bounds on a marginal log-density in the case of hierarchical models (also known as latent variable models). We then derive a family of increasingly tighter variational lower bounds on the otherwise intractable standard evidence lower bound for hierarchical variational distributions, enabling the use of more expressive approximate posteriors. We show that previously known methods, such as Hierarchical Variational Models, Semi-Implicit Variational Inference and Doubly Semi-Implicit Variational Inference can be seen as special cases of the proposed approach, and empirically demonstrate superior performance of the proposed method in a set of experiments.

We describe use of the Monte Carlo modeling method to specify the parameters of near infrared light propagation though the tissues of the head, which is needed for optimizing the operation of brain–computer interfaces. The studies used a four-layer spherical model of the head consisting of skin, bone, gray matter, and white matter. The relationship between the parameters of the radiation recorded and the distance between the source and detector were obtained.

8 of top 10 supercomputers of Top500 list published in November 2018 consist of computing nodes with hybrid architectures that require special programming techniques. 5 systems among these are based on Nvidia GPUs. In this paper, we consider the benchmark results of the brand new hybrid supercomputer installed in March 2019 in NRU HSE. This system gives us the possibility to estimate the performance of several widely used material science and machine learning codes that we discuss in this work within the framework of the results available for older HPC systems.

This paper proposes a semi-conditional normalizing flow model for semi-supervised learning. The model uses both labeled and unlabeled data to learn an explicit model of joint distribution over objects and labels. Semi-conditional architecture of the model allows us to efficiently compute a value and gradients of the marginal likelihood for unlabeled objects. The conditional part of the model is based on a proposed conditional coupling layer. We demonstrate performance of the model for semi-supervised classification problem on different datasets. The model outperforms the baseline approach based on variational auto-encoders on MNIST dataset.

Bayesian inference was once a gold standard for learning with neural networks, providing accurate full predictive distributions and well calibrated uncertainty. However, scaling Bayesian inference techniques to deep neural networks is challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameter space. In this paper, we construct low-dimensional subspaces of parameter space, such as the first principal components of the stochastic gradient descent (SGD) trajectory, which contain diverse sets of high performing models. In these subspaces, we are able to apply elliptical slice sampling and variational inference, which struggle in the full parameter space. We show that Bayesian model averaging over the induced posterior in these subspaces produces accurate predictions and well-calibrated predictive uncertainty for both regression and image classification.

Bayesian inference is known to provide a general framework for incorporating prior knowledge or specific properties into machine learning models via carefully choosing a prior distribution. In this work, we propose a new type of prior distributions for convolutional neural networks, deep weight prior (DWP), that exploit generative models to encourage a specific structure of trained convolutional filters e.g., spatial correlations of weights. We define DWP in the form of an implicit distribution and propose a method for variational inference with such type of implicit priors. In experiments, we show that DWP improves the performance of Bayesian neural networks when training data are limited, and initialization of weights with samples from DWP accelerates training of conventional convolutional neural networks.

Recent works propose using the discriminator of a GAN to filter out unrealistic samples of the generator. We generalize these ideas by introducing the implicit Metropolis-Hastings algorithm. For any implicit probabilistic model and a target distribution represented by a set of samples, implicit Metropolis-Hastings operates by learning a discriminator to estimate the density-ratio and then generating a chain of samples. Since the approximation of density ratio introduces an error on every step of the chain, it is crucial to analyze the stationary distribution of such chain. For that purpose, we present a theoretical result stating that the discriminator loss upper bounds the total variation distance between the target distribution and the stationary distribution. Finally, we validate the proposed algorithm both for independent and Markov proposals on CIFAR-10, CelebA, ImageNet datasets.

Ordinary stochastic neural networks mostly rely on the expected values of their weights to make predictions, whereas the induced noise is mostly used to capture the uncertainty, prevent overfitting and slightly boost the performance through test-time averaging. In this paper, we introduce variance layers, a different kind of stochastic layers. Each weight of a variance layer follows a zero-mean distribution and is only parameterized by its variance. We show that such layers can learn surprisingly well, can serve as an efficient exploration tool in reinforcement learning tasks and provide a decent defense against adversarial attacks. We also show that a number of conventional Bayesian neural networks naturally converge to such zero-mean posteriors. We observe that in these cases such zero-mean parameterization leads to a much better training objective than conventional parameterizations where the mean is being learned.

We propose a single neural probabilistic model based on variational autoencoder that can be conditioned on an arbitrary subset of observed features and then sample the remaining features in "one shot". The features may be both real-valued and categorical. Training of the model is performed by stochastic variational Bayes. The experimental evaluation on synthetic data, as well as feature imputation and image inpainting problems, shows the effectiveness of the proposed approach and diversity of the generated samples.

Deep neural networks are typically trained by optimizing a loss function with an SGD variant, in conjunction with a decaying learning rate, until convergence. We show that simple averaging of multiple points along the trajectory of SGD, with a cyclical or constant learning rate, leads to better generalization than conventional training. We also show that this Stochastic Weight Averaging (SWA) procedure finds much broader optima than SGD, and approximates the recent Fast Geometric Ensembling (FGE) approach with a single model. Using SWA we achieve notable improvement in test accuracy over conventional SGD training on a range of state-of-the-art residual networks, PyramidNets, DenseNets, and ShakeShake networks on CIFAR-10, CIFAR-100, and ImageNet. In short, SWA is extremely easy to implement, improves generalization, and has almost no computational overhead.