Quantum Expectation-Maximization for Gaussian Mixture Models

by   Iordanis Kerenidis, et al.

The Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm is a fundamental tool in unsupervised machine learning. It is often used as an efficient way to solve Maximum Likelihood (ML) estimation problems, especially for models with latent variables. It is also the algorithm of choice to fit mixture models: generative models that represent unlabelled points originating from k different processes, as samples from k multivariate distributions. In this work we define and use a quantum version of EM to fit a Gaussian Mixture Model. Given quantum access to a dataset of n vectors of dimension d, our algorithm has convergence and precision guarantees similar to the classical algorithm, but the runtime is only polylogarithmic in the number of elements in the training set, and is polynomial in other parameters - as the dimension of the feature space, and the number of components in the mixture. We generalize further the algorithm in two directions. First, we show how to fit any mixture model of probability distributions in the exponential family. Then, we show how to use this algorithm to compute the Maximum a Posteriori (MAP) estimate of a mixture model: the Bayesian approach to likelihood estimation problems. We discuss the performance of the algorithm on datasets that are expected to be classified successfully by those algorithms, arguing that on those cases we can give strong guarantees on the runtime.


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