## Posts

Showing posts from June, 2010

### log-sum-exp trick

when I implement models with discrete variables (which actually happens more than one can think), I always end up estimating this value:
$V = \log \left( \sum_i e^{b_i} \right)$

Why ? This usually happens at the denominator of a Bayes formula for example. I try to keep $$log$$-probabilities all the time so that not to have to deal with very small numbers and to do additions instead of multiplications. By the way, I was looking at the time and latency of floating-point instructions in the latest processors (like Intel Core i7 for example), and I realized that still in 2010, additions are faster than multiplications (even with SSEx and the like).

Therefore, use $$log$$

In this expression, $$b_i$$ are the log-probabilities and therefore $$e^{b_i}$$ are very small or very big yielding to overflow or underflow sometimes. A scaling trick can help using numbers in a better range without loss of accuracy and for a little extra cost as follows:
$\begin{array}{rcl} \log \left( \sum_i e^{… Just for those of you who wants to know how to put formulas in Blogger, I used this link here : http://watchmath.com/vlog/?p=438 Pretty straighforward. It uses a public LaTeX server to render the formulas. Very pretty ! This is my first post on this blog. And to be honest, this is the first time I'm gonna try to blog my thoughts. So, I'll do it on what I like these days: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The idea is to post thoughts, tricks, ideas, etc... In the hope people will read it and comment too. And, oh yes, I just installed in function to include math formulas. I don't know if it works so let's try it now with a simple version of the Bayes formula: \[ P(A|B) = \frac{P(B|A).P(A)}{P(B)}$