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Week 1 into GSoC

This blog contains my 1st week's progress (June 1 - June 7) into GSoC. After I have got a fair intuition of how module works, I started implementing Mean Field ADVI in PyMC4. With the guidance of my mentor Maxim Kochurov, we have split the implementation of VI approximations into 3 major parts -

  1. Vector LogProb function
  2. Approximate Distribution from TFP
  3. Integrate with TFP, Optimizers, etc

I started implementing ideas into my fork. Within 4-5 days, I have come up with a reasonable design incorporating the above 3 guidelines. And here is the PR #280 and now, I am working on the suggestions to improve API design.

On the way of my exploration of module, I see that we can use either tfp.distributions.JointDistributionSequential or tfp.distributions.MultivariateNormalDiag to implement Mean Field ADVI. The PR #280 is based on JointDistributionSequential. I will incorporate use of MultivariateNormalDiag after having a flattened view of parameters.

I observe that I am a week ahead of my proposed GSoC timeline. This means I have more time to explore PyMC4.

I am thankful to my mentor for his constant guidance and pymc-devs for being such a supportive community.

Thank you for reading!

With ❤, Sayam