Generalized Spectral Kernels

by   Yves-Laurent Kom Samo, et al.
University of Oxford

In this paper we propose a family of tractable kernels that is dense in the family of bounded positive semi-definite functions (i.e. can approximate any bounded kernel with arbitrary precision). We start by discussing the case of stationary kernels, and propose a family of spectral kernels that extends existing approaches such as spectral mixture kernels and sparse spectrum kernels. Our extension has two primary advantages. Firstly, unlike existing spectral approaches that yield infinite differentiability, the kernels we introduce allow learning the degree of differentiability of the latent function in Gaussian process (GP) models and functions in the reproducing kernel Hilbert space (RKHS) in other kernel methods. Secondly, we show that some of the kernels we propose require fewer parameters than existing spectral kernels for the same accuracy, thereby leading to faster and more robust inference. Finally, we generalize our approach and propose a flexible and tractable family of spectral kernels that we prove can approximate any continuous bounded nonstationary kernel.


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