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Benjamin J. Zhang, Siting Liu, Wuchen Li, Markos A. Katsoulakis, Stanley J. Osher

We focus on the fundamental mathematical structure of score-based generative models (SGMs). We first formulate SGMs in terms of the Wasserstein proximal operator (WPO) and demonstrate that, via mean-field games (MFGs), the WPO formulation reveals mathematical structure that describes the inductive bias of diffusion and score-based models. In particular, MFGs yield optimality conditions in the form of a pair of coupled partial differential equations: a forward-controlled Fokker-Planck (FP) equation, and a backward Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman (HJB) equation. Via a Cole-Hopf transformation and taking advantage of the fact that the cross-entropy can be related to a linear functional of the density, we show that the HJB equation is an uncontrolled FP equation. Second, with the mathematical structure at hand, we present an interpretable kernel-based model for the score function which dramatically improves the performance of SGMs in terms of training samples and training time. In addition, the WPO-informed kernel model is explicitly constructed to avoid the recently studied memorization effects of score-based generative models. The mathematical form of the new kernel-based models in combination with the use of the terminal condition of the MFG reveals new explanations for the manifold learning and generalization properties of SGMs, and provides a resolution to their memorization effects. Finally, our mathematically informed, interpretable kernel-based model suggests new scalable bespoke neural network architectures for high-dimensional applications.

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Qi Feng, Xinzhe Zuo, Wuchen Li

We provide a Lyapunov convergence analysis for time-inhomogeneous variable coefficient stochastic differential equations (SDEs). Three typical examples include overdamped, irreversible drift, and underdamped Langevin dynamics. We first formula the probability transition equation of Langevin dynamics as a modified gradient flow of the Kullback-Leibler divergence in the probability space with respect to time-dependent optimal transport metrics. This formulation contains both gradient and non-gradient directions depending on a class of time-dependent target distribution. We then select a time-dependent relative Fisher information functional as a Lyapunov functional. We develop a time-dependent Hessian matrix condition, which guarantees the convergence of the probability density function of the SDE. We verify the proposed conditions for several time-inhomogeneous Langevin dynamics. For the overdamped Langevin dynamics, we prove the $O(t^{-1/2})$ convergence in $L^1$ distance for the simulated annealing dynamics with a strongly convex potential function. For the irreversible drift Langevin dynamics, we prove an improved convergence towards the target distribution in an asymptotic regime. We also verify the convergence condition for the underdamped Langevin dynamics. Numerical examples demonstrate the convergence results for the time-dependent Langevin dynamics.

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Wuchen Li, Jiaxi Zhao

We consider the Wasserstein metric on the Gaussian mixture models (GMMs), which is defined as the pullback of the full Wasserstein metric on the space of smooth probability distributions with finite second moment. It derives a class of Wasserstein metrics on probability simplices over one-dimensional bounded homogeneous lattices via a scaling limit of the Wasserstein metric on GMMs. Specifically, for a sequence of GMMs whose variances tend to zero, we prove that the limit of the Wasserstein metric exists after certain renormalization. Generalizations of this metric in general GMMs are established, including inhomogeneous lattice models whose lattice gaps are not the same, extended GMMs whose mean parameters of Gaussian components can also change, and the second-order metric containing high-order information of the scaling limit. We further study the Wasserstein gradient flows on GMMs for three typical functionals: potential, internal, and interaction energies. Numerical examples demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed GMM models for approximating Wasserstein gradient flows.

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Hong Ye Tan, Stanley Osher, Wuchen Li

We consider the problem of sampling from a distribution governed by a potential function. This work proposes an explicit score-based MCMC method that is deterministic, resulting in a deterministic evolution for particles rather than a stochastic differential equation evolution. The score term is given in closed form by a regularized Wasserstein proximal, using a kernel convolution that is approximated by sampling. We demonstrate fast convergence on various problems and show improved dimensional dependence of mixing time bounds for the case of Gaussian distributions compared to the unadjusted Langevin algorithm (ULA) and the Metropolis-adjusted Langevin algorithm (MALA). We additionally derive closed form expressions for the distributions at each iterate for quadratic potential functions, characterizing the variance reduction. Empirical results demonstrate that the particles behave in an organized manner, lying on level set contours of the potential. Moreover, the posterior mean estimator of the proposed method is shown to be closer to the maximum a-posteriori estimator compared to ULA and MALA, in the context of Bayesian logistic regression.

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Yifei Wang, Peng Chen, Mert Pilanci, Wuchen Li

The computation of Wasserstein gradient direction is essential for posterior sampling problems and scientific computing. The approximation of the Wasserstein gradient with finite samples requires solving a variational problem. We study the variational problem in the family of two-layer networks with squared-ReLU activations, towards which we derive a semi-definite programming (SDP) relaxation. This SDP can be viewed as an approximation of the Wasserstein gradient in a broader function family including two-layer networks. By solving the convex SDP, we obtain the optimal approximation of the Wasserstein gradient direction in this class of functions. Numerical experiments including PDE-constrained Bayesian inference and parameter estimation in COVID-19 modeling demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

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Yifei Wang, Peng Chen, Wuchen Li

We propose a projected Wasserstein gradient descent method (pWGD) for high-dimensional Bayesian inference problems. The underlying density function of a particle system of WGD is approximated by kernel density estimation (KDE), which faces the long-standing curse of dimensionality. We overcome this challenge by exploiting the intrinsic low-rank structure in the difference between the posterior and prior distributions. The parameters are projected into a low-dimensional subspace to alleviate the approximation error of KDE in high dimensions. We formulate a projected Wasserstein gradient flow and analyze its convergence property under mild assumptions. Several numerical experiments illustrate the accuracy, convergence, and complexity scalability of pWGD with respect to parameter dimension, sample size, and processor cores.

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Alex Tong Lin, Wuchen Li, Stanley Osher, Guido Montufar

We introduce a new method for training generative adversarial networks by applying the Wasserstein-2 metric proximal on the generators. The approach is based on Wasserstein information geometry. It defines a parametrization invariant natural gradient by pulling back optimal transport structures from probability space to parameter space. We obtain easy-to-implement iterative regularizers for the parameter updates of implicit deep generative models. Our experiments demonstrate that this method improves the speed and stability of training in terms of wall-clock time and Fr\'echet Inception Distance.

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Wuchen Li

We study Bregman divergences in probability density space embedded with the $L^2$--Wasserstein metric. Several properties and dualities of transport Bregman divergences are provided. In particular, we derive the transport Kullback--Leibler (KL) divergence by a Bregman divergence of negative Boltzmann--Shannon entropy in $L^2$--Wasserstein space. We also derive analytical formulas and generalizations of transport KL divergence for one-dimensional probability densities and Gaussian families.

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Alex Tong Lin, Samy Wu Fung, Wuchen Li, Levon Nurbekyan, Stanley J. Osher

We present APAC-Net, an alternating population and agent control neural network for solving stochastic mean field games (MFGs). Our algorithm is geared toward high-dimensional instances MFGs that are beyond reach with existing solution methods. We achieve this in two steps. First, we take advantage of the underlying variational primal-dual structure that MFGs exhibit and phrase it as a convex-concave saddle point problem. Second, we parameterize the value and density functions by two neural networks, respectively. By phrasing the problem in this manner, solving the MFG can be interpreted as a special case of training a generative adversarial generative network (GAN). We show the potential of our method on up to 50-dimensional MFG problems.

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