Consistency Models for Scalable and Fast Simulation-Based Inference, Marvin Schmitt, Valentin Pratz, Ullrich Köthe, Paul-Christian Bürkner, Stefan T. Radev. (2023)


Simulation-based inference (SBI) is constantly in search of more expressive algorithms for accurately inferring the parameters of complex models from noisy data. We present consistency models for neural posterior estimation (CMPE), a new free-form conditional sampler for scalable, fast, and amortized SBI with generative neural networks. CMPE combines the advantages of normalizing flows and flow matching methods into a single generative architecture: It essentially distills a continuous probability flow and enables rapid few-shot inference with an unconstrained architecture that can be tailored to the structure of the estimation problem. Our empirical evaluation demonstrates that CMPE not only outperforms current state-of-the-art algorithms on three hard low-dimensional problems, but also achieves competitive performance in a high-dimensional Bayesian denoising experiment and in estimating a computationally demanding multi-scale model of tumor spheroid growth.