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MIA Talks

Compiling probabilistic programs

December 14, 2016
The Programming Languages Group, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS)

Deriving and implementing an inference algorithm for a probabilistic model can be a difficult and error-prone task. Alternatively, in probabilistic programming, a compiler is used to transform a model into an inference algorithm. In this talk, we'll present probabilistic programming from the perspective of a compiler writer. A compiler for a traditional language uses intermediate languages (ILs) and static analysis to generate efficient code. We'll highlight how these ideas can be used in probabilistic programming for generating flexible and scalable inference algorithms.