tfp.monte_carlo.expectation

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Computes the Monte-Carlo approximation of E_p[f(X)]. (deprecated arguments)

This function computes the Monte-Carlo approximation of an expectation, i.e.,

E_p[f(X)] approx= m**-1 sum_i^m f(x_j),  x_j ~iid p(X)

where:

  • x_j = samples[j, ...],
  • log(p(samples)) = log_prob(samples) and
  • m = prod(shape(samples)[axis]).

Tricks: Reparameterization and Score-Gradient

When p is "reparameterized", i.e., a diffeomorphic transformation of a parameterless distribution (e.g., Normal(Y; m, s) <=> Y = sX + m, X ~ Normal(0,1)), we can swap gradient and expectation, i.e., grad[ Avg{ s_i : i=1...n } ] = Avg{ grad[s_i] : i=1...n } where S_n = Avg{s_i} and s_i = f(x_i), x_i ~ p.

However, if p is not reparameterized, TensorFlow's gradient will be incorrect since the chain-rule stops at samples of non-reparameterized distributions. (The non-differentiated result, approx_expectation, is the same regardless of use_reparameterization.) In this circumstance using the Score-Gradient trick results in an unbiased gradient, i.e.,

grad[ E_p[f(X)] ]
= grad[ int dx p(x) f(x) ]
= int dx grad[ p(x) f(x) ]
= int dx [ p'(x) f(x) + p(x) f'(x) ]
= int dx p(x) [p'(x) / p(x) f(x) + f'(x) ]
= int dx p(x) grad[ f(x) p(x) / stop_grad[p(x)] ]
= E_p[ grad[ f(x) p(x) / stop_grad[p(x)] ] ]

Unless p is not reparameterized, it is usually preferable to use_reparameterization = True.

Example Use:

# Monte-Carlo approximation of a reparameterized distribution, e.g., Normal.

num_draws = int(1e5)
p = tfp.distributions.Normal(loc=0., scale=1.)
q = tfp.distributions.Normal(loc=1., scale=2.)
exact_kl_normal_normal = tfp.distributions.kl_divergence(p, q)
# ==> 0.44314718
approx_kl_normal_normal = tfp.monte_carlo.expectation(
    f=lambda x: p.log_prob(x) - q.log_prob(x),
    samples=p.sample(num_draws, seed=42),
    log_prob=p.log_prob,
    use_reparameterization=(p.reparameterization_type
                           == tfp.distributions.FULLY_REPARAMETERIZED))
# ==> 0.44632751
# Relative Error: <1%

# Monte-Carlo approximation of non-reparameterized distribution,
# e.g., Bernoulli.

num_draws = int(1e5)
p = tfp.distributions.Bernoulli(probs=0.4)
q = tfp.distributions.Bernoulli(probs=0.8)
exact_kl_bernoulli_bernoulli = tfp.distributions.kl_divergence(p, q)
# ==> 0.38190854
approx_kl_bernoulli_bernoulli = tfp.monte_carlo.expectation(
    f=lambda x: p.log_prob(x) - q.log_prob(x),
    samples=p.sample(num_draws, seed=42),
    log_prob=p.log_prob,
    use_reparameterization=(p.reparameterization_type
                           == tfp.distributions.FULLY_REPARAMETERIZED))
# ==> 0.38336259
# Relative Error: <1%

# For comparing the gradients, see `expectation_test.py`.
approx_kl_p_q = bf.monte_carlo_variational_loss(
    p_log_prob=q.log_prob,
    q=p,
    discrepancy_fn=bf.kl_reverse,
    num_draws=num_draws)

f Python callable which can return f(samples).
samples Tensor or nested structure (list, dict, etc.) of Tensors, representing samples used to form the Monte-Carlo approximation of E_p[f(X)]. A batch of samples should be indexed by axis dimensions.
log_prob Python callable which can return log_prob(samples). Must correspond to the natural-logarithm of the pdf/pmf of each sample. Only required/used if use_reparameterization=False. Default value: None.
use_reparameterization Python bool indicating that the approximation should use the fact that the gradient of samples is unbiased. Whether True or False, this arg only affects the gradient of the resulting approx_expectation. Default value: True.
use_reparametrization (Deprecated) Python bool indicating that the approximation should use the fact that the gradient of samples is unbiased. Whether True or False, this arg only affects the gradient of the resulting approx_expectation. Default value: True.
axis The dimensions to average. If None, averages all dimensions. Default value: 0 (the left-most dimension).
keepdims If True, retains averaged dimensions using size 1. Default value: False.
keep_dims (Deprecated) If True, retains averaged dimensions using size 1. Default value: False.
name A name_scope for operations created by this function. Default value: None (which implies "expectation").

approx_expectation Tensor corresponding to the Monte-Carlo approximation of E_p[f(X)].

ValueError if f is not a Python callable.
ValueError if use_reparameterization=False and log_prob is not a Python callable.