Continual Multi-task Gaussian Processes

Pablo Moreno-Muñoz, Antonio Artés-Rodríguez, Mauricio Alvarez

Research output: Other contribution


We address the problem of continual learning in multi-task Gaussian process (GP) models for handling sequential input-output observations. Our approach extends the existing prior-posterior recursion of online Bayesian inference, i.e.\ past posterior discoveries become future prior beliefs, to the infinite functional space setting of GP. For a reason of scalability, we introduce variational inference together with an sparse approximation based on inducing inputs. As a consequence, we obtain tractable continual lower-bounds where two novel Kullback-Leibler (KL) divergences intervene in a natural way. The key technical property of our method is the recursive reconstruction of conditional GP priors conditioned on the variational parameters learned so far. To achieve this goal, we introduce a novel factorization of past variational distributions, where the predictive GP equation propagates the posterior uncertainty forward. We then demonstrate that it is possible to derive GP models over many types of sequential observations, either discrete or continuous and amenable to stochastic optimization. The continual inference approach is also applicable to scenarios where potential multi-channel or heterogeneous observations might appear. Extensive experiments demonstrate that the method is fully scalable, shows a reliable performance and is robust to uncertainty error propagation over a plenty of synthetic and real-world datasets.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
Place of PublicationIthaca
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2019


  • Machine learning


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