The EM algorithm and Gaussian mixture models – part II

In this post, I will discuss the general form of the EM algorithm to obtain a maximum likelihood estimator for a model with latent variables. First, let us describe our model. We suppose that we are given some joint distribution of a random variable X (the observed variables) and and random variable Z (the latent … Continue reading The EM algorithm and Gaussian mixture models – part II

The EM algorithm and Gaussian mixture models – part I

In the last few posts on machine learning, we have looked in detail at restricted Boltzmann machines. RBMs are a prime example for unsupervised learning - they learn a given distribution and are able to extract features from a data set, without the need to label the data upfront. However, there are of course many … Continue reading The EM algorithm and Gaussian mixture models – part I

Why you need statistics to understand neuronal networks

When I tried to learn about neuronal networks first, I did what probably most of us would do - I started to look for tutorials, blogs etc. on the web and was surprised by the vast amount of resources that I found. Almost every blog or webpage about neuronal networks has a section on training … Continue reading Why you need statistics to understand neuronal networks

Monte Carlo methods and Markov chains – an introduction

In our short series on machine learning, we have already applied sampling methods several times. We have used and implemented Gibbs sampling, and so far we have simply accepted that the approach works. Time to look at this in a bit more detail in order to understand why it works and what the limitations of … Continue reading Monte Carlo methods and Markov chains – an introduction

Training restricted Boltzmann machines with persistent contrastive divergence

In the last post, we have looked at the contrastive divergence algorithm to train a restricted Boltzmann machine. Even though this algorithm continues to be very popular, it is by far not the only available algorithm. In this post, we will look at a different algorithm known as persistent contrastive divergence and apply it to … Continue reading Training restricted Boltzmann machines with persistent contrastive divergence