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Computationally-efficient initialisation of GPs: The generalised variogram method

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Elsa Cazelles
Taco de Wolff
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Abstract

We present a computationally-efficient strategy to find the hyperparameters of a Gaussian process (GP) avoiding the computation of the likelihood function. The found hyperparameters can then be used directly for regression or passed as initial conditions to maximum-likelihood (ML) training. Motivated by the fact that training a GP via ML is equivalent (on average) to minimising the KL-divergence between the true and learnt model, we set to explore different metrics/divergences among GPs that are computationally inexpensive and provide estimates close to those of ML. In particular, we identify the GP hyperparameters by matching the empirical covariance to a parametric candidate, proposing and studying various measures of discrepancy. Our proposal extends the Variogram method developed by the geostatistics literature and thus is referred to as the Generalised Variogram method (GVM). In addition to the theoretical presentation of GVM, we provide experimental validation in terms of accuracy, consistency with ML and computational complexity for different kernels using synthetic and real-world data.
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Dates and versions

hal-03814966 , version 1 (17-10-2022)
hal-03814966 , version 2 (24-01-2023)

Licence

Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Felipe Tobar, Elsa Cazelles, Taco de Wolff. Computationally-efficient initialisation of GPs: The generalised variogram method. 2022. ⟨hal-03814966v1⟩
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