FastMMD: Ensemble of Circular Discrepancy for Efficient Two-Sample Test

by   Ji Zhao, et al.

The maximum mean discrepancy (MMD) is a recently proposed test statistic for two-sample test. Its quadratic time complexity, however, greatly hampers its availability to large-scale applications. To accelerate the MMD calculation, in this study we propose an efficient method called FastMMD. The core idea of FastMMD is to equivalently transform the MMD with shift-invariant kernels into the amplitude expectation of a linear combination of sinusoid components based on Bochner's theorem and Fourier transform (Rahimi & Recht, 2007). Taking advantage of sampling of Fourier transform, FastMMD decreases the time complexity for MMD calculation from O(N^2 d) to O(L N d), where N and d are the size and dimension of the sample set, respectively. Here L is the number of basis functions for approximating kernels which determines the approximation accuracy. For kernels that are spherically invariant, the computation can be further accelerated to O(L N d) by using the Fastfood technique (Le et al., 2013). The uniform convergence of our method has also been theoretically proved in both unbiased and biased estimates. We have further provided a geometric explanation for our method, namely ensemble of circular discrepancy, which facilitates us to understand the insight of MMD, and is hopeful to help arouse more extensive metrics for assessing two-sample test. Experimental results substantiate that FastMMD is with similar accuracy as exact MMD, while with faster computation speed and lower variance than the existing MMD approximation methods.


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