Online variational inference for state-space models with point-process observations.
ABSTRACT We present a variational Bayesian (VB) approach for the state and parameter inference of a state-space model with point-process observations, a physiologically plausible model for signal processing of spike data. We also give the derivation of a variational smoother, as well as an efficient online filtering algorithm, which can also be used to track changes in physiological parameters. The methods are assessed on simulated data, and results are compared to expectation-maximization, as well as Monte Carlo estimation techniques, in order to evaluate the accuracy of the proposed approach. The VB filter is further assessed on a data set of taste-response neural cells, showing that the proposed approach can effectively capture dynamical changes in neural responses in real time.
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ABSTRACT: Modern conflicts are characterized by an ever increasing use of information and sensing technology, resulting in vast amounts of high resolution data. Modelling and prediction of conflict, however, remain challenging tasks due to the heterogeneous and dynamic nature of the data typically available. Here we propose the use of dynamic spatiotemporal modelling tools for the identification of complex underlying processes in conflict, such as diffusion, relocation, heterogeneous escalation, and volatility. Using ideas from statistics, signal processing, and ecology, we provide a predictive framework able to assimilate data and give confidence estimates on the predictions. We demonstrate our methods on the WikiLeaks Afghan War Diary. Our results show that the approach allows deeper insights into conflict dynamics and allows a strikingly statistically accurate forward prediction of armed opposition group activity in 2010, based solely on data from previous years.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2012; 109(31):12414-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This letter considers how a number of modern Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods can be applied for parameter estimation and inference in state-space models with point process observations. We quantified the efficiencies of these MCMC methods on synthetic data, and our results suggest that the Reimannian manifold Hamiltonian Monte Carlo method offers the best performance. We further compared such a method with a previously tested variational Bayes method on two experimental data sets. Results indicate similar performance on the large data sets and superior performance on small ones. The work offers an extensive suite of MCMC algorithms evaluated on an important class of models for physiological signal analysis.Neural Computation 02/2012; 24(6):1462-86. · 1.69 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Latent linear dynamical systems with generalised-linear observation models arise in a variety of applications, for instance when modelling the spiking activ-ity of populations of neurons. Here, we show how spectral learning methods (usually called subspace identification in this context) for linear systems with linear-Gaussian observations can be extended to estimate the parameters of a generalised-linear dynamical system model despite a non-linear and non-Gaussian observation process. We use this approach to obtain estimates of parameters for a dynamical model of neural population data, where the observed spike-counts are Poisson-distributed with log-rates determined by the latent dynamical process, possibly driven by external inputs. We show that the extended subspace identifica-tion algorithm is consistent and accurately recovers the correct parameters on large simulated data sets with a single calculation, avoiding the costly iterative compu-tation of approximate expectation-maximisation (EM). Even on smaller data sets, it provides an effective initialisation for EM, avoiding local optima and speeding convergence. These benefits are shown to extend to real neural data.