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User-Dependent Neural Sequence Models for Continuous-Time Event Data
Alex Boyd · Robert Bamler · Stephan Mandt · Padhraic Smyth

Thu Dec 10 09:00 AM -- 11:00 AM (PST) @ Poster Session 5 #1358

Continuous-time event data are common in applications such as individual behavior data, financial transactions, and medical health records. Modeling such data can be very challenging, in particular for applications with many different types of events,since it requires a model to predict the event types as well as the time of occurrence. Recurrent neural networks that parameterize time-varying intensity functions are the current state-of-the-art for predictive modeling with such data. These models typically assume that all event sequences come from the same data distribution. However, in many applications event sequences are generated by different sources,or users, and their characteristics can be very different. In this paper, we extend the broad class of neural marked point process models to mixtures of latent embeddings,where each mixture component models the characteristic traits of a given user. Our approach relies on augmenting these models with a latent variable that encodes user characteristics, represented by a mixture model over user behavior that is trained via amortized variational inference. We evaluate our methods on four large real-world datasets and demonstrate systematic improvements from our approach over existing work for a variety of predictive metrics such as log-likelihood, next event ranking, and source-of-sequence identification.

Author Information

Alex Boyd (UC Irvine)
Robert Bamler (University of Tübingen)
Stephan Mandt (University of California, Irvine)

Stephan Mandt is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. From 2016 until 2018, he was a Senior Researcher and Head of the statistical machine learning group at Disney Research, first in Pittsburgh and later in Los Angeles. He held previous postdoctoral positions at Columbia University and Princeton University. Stephan holds a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the University of Cologne. He is a Fellow of the German National Merit Foundation, a Kavli Fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and was a visiting researcher at Google Brain. Stephan regularly serves as an Area Chair for NeurIPS, ICML, AAAI, and ICLR, and is a member of the Editorial Board of JMLR. His research is currently supported by NSF, DARPA, Intel, and Qualcomm.

Padhraic Smyth (University of California, Irvine)

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