Deep Rao-Blackwellised Particle Filters for Time Series Forecasting

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

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Richard Kurle, Syama Sundar Rangapuram, Emmanuel de Bézenac, Stephan Günnemann, Jan Gasthaus


This work addresses efficient inference and learning in switching Gaussian linear dynamical systems using a Rao-Blackwellised particle filter and a corresponding Monte Carlo objective. To improve the forecasting capabilities, we extend this classical model by conditionally linear state-to-switch dynamics, while leaving the partial tractability of the conditional Gaussian linear part intact. Furthermore, we use an auxiliary variable approach with a decoder-type neural network that allows for more complex non-linear emission models and multivariate observations. We propose a Monte Carlo objective that leverages the conditional linearity by computing the corresponding conditional expectations in closed-form and a suitable proposal distribution that is factorised similarly to the optimal proposal distribution. We evaluate our approach on several popular time series forecasting datasets as well as image streams of simulated physical systems. Our results show improved forecasting performance compared to other deep state-space model approaches.