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CMLA

Abstract:Flow Matching (FM) (also referred to as stochastic interpolants or rectified flows) stands out as a class of generative models that aims to bridge in finite time the target distribution $\nu^\star$ with an auxiliary distribution $\mu$, leveraging a fixed coupling $\pi$ and a bridge which can either be deterministic or stochastic. These two ingredients define a path measure which can then be approximated by learning the drift of its Markovian projection. The main contribution of this paper is to provide relatively mild assumptions on $\nu^\star$, $\mu$ and $\pi$ to obtain non-asymptotics guarantees for Diffusion Flow Matching (DFM) models using as bridge the conditional distribution associated with the Brownian motion. More precisely, we establish bounds on the Kullback-Leibler divergence between the target distribution and the one generated by such DFM models under moment conditions on the score of $\nu^\star$, $\mu$ and $\pi$, and a standard $L^2$-drift-approximation error assumption.

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Abstract:Investigating noise distribution beyond Gaussian in diffusion generative models is an open problem. The Gaussian case has seen success experimentally and theoretically, fitting a unified SDE framework for score-based and denoising formulations. Recent studies suggest heavy-tailed noise distributions can address mode collapse and manage datasets with class imbalance, heavy tails, or outliers. Yoon et al. (NeurIPS 2023) introduced the L\'evy-Ito model (LIM), extending the SDE framework to heavy-tailed SDEs with $\alpha$-stable noise. Despite its theoretical elegance and performance gains, LIM's complex mathematics may limit its accessibility and broader adoption. This study takes a simpler approach by extending the denoising diffusion probabilistic model (DDPM) with $\alpha$-stable noise, creating the denoising L\'evy probabilistic model (DLPM). Using elementary proof techniques, we show DLPM reduces to running vanilla DDPM with minimal changes, allowing the use of existing implementations with minimal changes. DLPM and LIM have different training algorithms and, unlike the Gaussian case, they admit different backward processes and sampling algorithms. Our experiments demonstrate that DLPM achieves better coverage of data distribution tail, improved generation of unbalanced datasets, and faster computation times with fewer backward steps.

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Authors:Antoine Scheid, Aymeric Capitaine, Etienne Boursier, Eric Moulines, Michael I Jordan, Alain Durmus

Abstract:In economic theory, the concept of externality refers to any indirect effect resulting from an interaction between players that affects the social welfare. Most of the models within which externality has been studied assume that agents have perfect knowledge of their environment and preferences. This is a major hindrance to the practical implementation of many proposed solutions. To address this issue, we consider a two-player bandit setting where the actions of one of the players affect the other player and we extend the Coase theorem [Coase, 1960]. This result shows that the optimal approach for maximizing the social welfare in the presence of externality is to establish property rights, i.e., enable transfers and bargaining between the players. Our work removes the classical assumption that bargainers possess perfect knowledge of the underlying game. We first demonstrate that in the absence of property rights, the social welfare breaks down. We then design a policy for the players which allows them to learn a bargaining strategy which maximizes the total welfare, recovering the Coase theorem under uncertainty.

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Abstract:Variational inference (VI) is a popular approach in Bayesian inference, that looks for the best approximation of the posterior distribution within a parametric family, minimizing a loss that is typically the (reverse) Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence. Despite its empirical success, the theoretical properties of VI have only received attention recently, and mostly when the parametric family is the one of Gaussians. This work aims to contribute to the theoretical study of VI in the non-Gaussian case by investigating the setting of Mixture of Gaussians with fixed covariance and constant weights. In this view, VI over this specific family can be casted as the minimization of a Mollified relative entropy, i.e. the KL between the convolution (with respect to a Gaussian kernel) of an atomic measure supported on Diracs, and the target distribution. The support of the atomic measure corresponds to the localization of the Gaussian components. Hence, solving variational inference becomes equivalent to optimizing the positions of the Diracs (the particles), which can be done through gradient descent and takes the form of an interacting particle system. We study two sources of error of variational inference in this context when optimizing the mollified relative entropy. The first one is an optimization result, that is a descent lemma establishing that the algorithm decreases the objective at each iteration. The second one is an approximation error, that upper bounds the objective between an optimal finite mixture and the target distribution.

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Abstract:Variational inference (VI) is a popular approach in Bayesian inference, that looks for the best approximation of the posterior distribution within a parametric family, minimizing a loss that is typically the (reverse) Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergence. Despite its empirical success, the theoretical properties of VI have only received attention recently, and mostly when the parametric family is the one of Gaussians. This work aims to contribute to the theoretical study of VI in the non-Gaussian case by investigating the setting of Mixture of Gaussians with fixed covariance and constant weights. In this view, VI over this specific family can be casted as the minimization of a Mollified relative entropy, i.e. the KL between the convolution (with respect to a Gaussian kernel) of an atomic measure supported on Diracs, and the target distribution. The support of the atomic measure corresponds to the localization of the Gaussian components. Hence, solving variational inference becomes equivalent to optimizing the positions of the Diracs (the particles), which can be done through gradient descent and takes the form of an interacting particle system. We study two sources of error of variational inference in this context when optimizing the mollified relative entropy. The first one is an optimization result, that is a descent lemma establishing that the algorithm decreases the objective at each iteration. The second one is an approximation error, that upper bounds the objective between an optimal finite mixture and the target distribution.

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Abstract:Interest in the use of Denoising Diffusion Models (DDM) as priors for solving inverse Bayesian problems has recently increased significantly. However, sampling from the resulting posterior distribution poses a challenge. To solve this problem, previous works have proposed approximations to bias the drift term of the diffusion. In this work, we take a different approach and utilize the specific structure of the DDM prior to define a set of intermediate and simpler posterior sampling problems, resulting in a lower approximation error compared to previous methods. We empirically demonstrate the reconstruction capability of our method for general linear inverse problems using synthetic examples and various image restoration tasks.

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Authors:Antoine Scheid, Daniil Tiapkin, Etienne Boursier, Aymeric Capitaine, El Mahdi El Mhamdi, Eric Moulines, Michael I. Jordan, Alain Durmus

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Abstract:This work considers a repeated principal-agent bandit game, where the principal can only interact with her environment through the agent. The principal and the agent have misaligned objectives and the choice of action is only left to the agent. However, the principal can influence the agent's decisions by offering incentives which add up to his rewards. The principal aims to iteratively learn an incentive policy to maximize her own total utility. This framework extends usual bandit problems and is motivated by several practical applications, such as healthcare or ecological taxation, where traditionally used mechanism design theories often overlook the learning aspect of the problem. We present nearly optimal (with respect to a horizon $T$) learning algorithms for the principal's regret in both multi-armed and linear contextual settings. Finally, we support our theoretical guarantees through numerical experiments.

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Abstract:Differentially private (DP) machine learning is considered the gold-standard solution for training a model from sensitive data while still preserving privacy. However, a major barrier to achieving this ideal is its sub-optimal privacy-accuracy trade-off, which is particularly visible in DP representation learning. Specifically, it has been shown that under modest privacy budgets, most models learn representations that are not significantly better than hand-crafted features. In this work, we show that effective DP representation learning can be done via image captioning and scaling up to internet-scale multimodal datasets. Through a series of engineering tricks, we successfully train a DP image captioner (DP-Cap) on a 233M subset of LAION-2B from scratch using a reasonable amount of computation, and obtaining unprecedented high-quality image features that can be used in a variety of downstream vision and vision-language tasks. For example, under a privacy budget of $\varepsilon=8$, a linear classifier trained on top of learned DP-Cap features attains 65.8% accuracy on ImageNet-1K, considerably improving the previous SOTA of 56.5%. Our work challenges the prevailing sentiment that high-utility DP representation learning cannot be achieved by training from scratch.

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Abstract:This paper investigates the radioactivity of LLM-generated texts, i.e. whether it is possible to detect that such input was used as training data. Conventional methods like membership inference can carry out this detection with some level of accuracy. We show that watermarked training data leaves traces easier to detect and much more reliable than membership inference. We link the contamination level to the watermark robustness, its proportion in the training set, and the fine-tuning process. We notably demonstrate that training on watermarked synthetic instructions can be detected with high confidence (p-value < 1e-5) even when as little as 5% of training text is watermarked. Thus, LLM watermarking, originally designed for detecting machine-generated text, gives the ability to easily identify if the outputs of a watermarked LLM were used to fine-tune another LLM.

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Abstract:Training Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) with small batches using Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) yields superior test performance compared to larger batches. The specific noise structure inherent to SGD is known to be responsible for this implicit bias. DP-SGD, used to ensure differential privacy (DP) in DNNs' training, adds Gaussian noise to the clipped gradients. Surprisingly, large-batch training still results in a significant decrease in performance, which poses an important challenge because strong DP guarantees necessitate the use of massive batches. We first show that the phenomenon extends to Noisy-SGD (DP-SGD without clipping), suggesting that the stochasticity (and not the clipping) is the cause of this implicit bias, even with additional isotropic Gaussian noise. We theoretically analyse the solutions obtained with continuous versions of Noisy-SGD for the Linear Least Square and Diagonal Linear Network settings, and reveal that the implicit bias is indeed amplified by the additional noise. Thus, the performance issues of large-batch DP-SGD training are rooted in the same underlying principles as SGD, offering hope for potential improvements in large batch training strategies.

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