Understanding and comparing scalable Gaussian process regression for big data

Haitao Liu, Jianfei Cai, Yew-Soon Ong, Yi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As a non-parametric Bayesian model which produces informative predictive distribution, Gaussian process (GP) has been widely used in various fields, like regression, classification and optimization. The cubic complexity of standard GP however leads to poor scalability, which poses challenges in the era of big data. Hence, various scalable GPs have been developed in the literature in order to improve the scalability while retaining desirable prediction accuracy. This paper devotes to investigating the methodological characteristics and performance of representative global and local scalable GPs including sparse approximations and local aggregations from four main perspectives: scalability, capability, controllability and robustness. The numerical experiments on two toy examples and five real-world datasets with up to 250K points offer the following findings. In terms of scalability, most of the scalable GPs own a time complexity that is linear to the training size. In terms of capability, the sparse approximations capture the long-term spatial correlations, the local aggregations capture the local patterns but suffer from over-fitting in some scenarios. In terms of controllability, we could improve the performance of sparse approximations by simply increasing the inducing size. But this is not the case for local aggregations. In terms of robustness, local aggregations are robust to various initializations of hyperparameters due to the local attention mechanism. Finally, we highlight that the proper hybrid of global and local scalable GPs may be a promising way to improve both the model capability and scalability for big data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)324-335
Number of pages12
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Volume164
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Big data
  • Gaussian process
  • Local aggregations
  • Sparse approximations

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