The Nonnegative Boltzmann Machine

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 12 (NIPS 1999)

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Oliver Downs, David MacKay, Daniel Lee


The nonnegative Boltzmann machine (NNBM) is a recurrent neural net(cid:173) work model that can describe multimodal nonnegative data. Application of maximum likelihood estimation to this model gives a learning rule that is analogous to the binary Boltzmann machine. We examine the utility of the mean field approximation for the NNBM, and describe how Monte Carlo sampling techniques can be used to learn its parameters. Reflec(cid:173) tive slice sampling is particularly well-suited for this distribution, and can efficiently be implemented to sample the distribution. We illustrate learning of the NNBM on a transiationally invariant distribution, as well as on a generative model for images of human faces.