Correcting Predictions for Approximate Bayesian Inference

  • Tomasz Kuśmierczyk University of Helsinki
  • Joseph Sakaya University of Helsinki
  • Arto Klami University of Helsinki


Bayesian models quantify uncertainty and facilitate optimal decision-making in downstream applications. For most models, however, practitioners are forced to use approximate inference techniques that lead to sub-optimal decisions due to incorrect posterior predictive distributions. We present a novel approach that corrects for inaccuracies in posterior inference by altering the decision-making process. We train a separate model to make optimal decisions under the approximate posterior, combining interpretable Bayesian modeling with optimization of direct predictive accuracy in a principled fashion. The solution is generally applicable as a plug-in module for predictive decision-making for arbitrary probabilistic programs, irrespective of the posterior inference strategy. We demonstrate the approach empirically in several problems, confirming its potential.

AAAI Technical Track: Machine Learning