Monte Carlo sampling in high-dimensional, low-sample settings is important in many machine learning tasks. We improve current methods for sampling in Euclidean spaces by avoiding independence, and instead consider ways to couple samples. We show fundamental connections to optimal transport theory, leading to novel sampling algorithms, and providing new theoretical grounding for existing strategies. We compare our new strategies against prior methods for improving sample efficiency, including quasi-Monte Carlo, by studying discrepancy. We explore our findings empirically, and observe benefits of our sampling schemes for reinforcement learning and generative modelling.
M. Rowland*, K. Choromanski*, F. Chalus, A. Pacchiano, T. Sarlos, R. Turner and A. Weller. Geometrically Coupled Monte Carlo Sampling. To appear in Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 2018 [selected for spotlight presentation] [*equal contribution].