Particle Gibbs for Infinite Hidden Markov Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Nilesh Tripuraneni, Shixiang (Shane) Gu, Hong Ge, Zoubin Ghahramani


Infinite Hidden Markov Models (iHMM's) are an attractive, nonparametric generalization of the classical Hidden Markov Model which can automatically infer the number of hidden states in the system. However, due to the infinite-dimensional nature of the transition dynamics, performing inference in the iHMM is difficult. In this paper, we present an infinite-state Particle Gibbs (PG) algorithm to resample state trajectories for the iHMM. The proposed algorithm uses an efficient proposal optimized for iHMMs, and leverages ancestor sampling to improve the mixing of the standard PG algorithm. Our algorithm demonstrates significant convergence improvements on synthetic and real world data sets.