Fast Determinantal Point Process Sampling with Application to Clustering

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)

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Byungkon Kang


Determinantal Point Process (DPP) has gained much popularity for modeling sets of diverse items. The gist of DPP is that the probability of choosing a particular set of items is proportional to the determinant of a positive definite matrix that defines the similarity of those items. However, computing the determinant requires time cubic in the number of items, and is hence impractical for large sets. In this paper, we address this problem by constructing a rapidly mixing Markov chain, from which we can acquire a sample from the given DPP in sub-cubic time. In addition, we show that this framework can be extended to sampling from cardinality-constrained DPPs. As an application, we show how our sampling algorithm can be used to provide a fast heuristic for determining the number of clusters, resulting in better clustering.