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Statistically Efficient Bayesian Sequential Experiment Design via Reinforcement Learning with Cross-Entropy Estimators

Tom BlauIadine ChadesAmir DezfouliDaniel SteinbergEdwin V. Bonilla
Feb 2024
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摘要原文
Reinforcement learning can learn amortised design policies for designing sequences of experiments. However, current amortised methods rely on estimators of expected information gain (EIG) that require an exponential number of samples on the magnitude of the EIG to achieve an unbiased estimation. We propose the use of an alternative estimator based on the cross-entropy of the joint model distribution and a flexible proposal distribution. This proposal distribution approximates the true posterior of the model parameters given the experimental history and the design policy. Our method overcomes the exponential-sample complexity of previous approaches and provide more accurate estimates of high EIG values. More importantly, it allows learning of superior design policies, and is compatible with continuous and discrete design spaces, non-differentiable likelihoods and even implicit probabilistic models.
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