Sequential Neural Score Estimation: Likelihood-Free Inference with Conditional Score Based Diffusion Models, Louis Sharrock, Jack Simons, Song Liu, Mark Beaumont. (2022)


We introduce Sequential Neural Posterior Score Estimation (SNPSE) and Sequential Neural Likelihood Score Estimation (SNLSE), two new score-based methods for Bayesian inference in simulator-based models. Our methods, inspired by the success of score-based methods in generative modelling, leverage conditional score-based diffusion models to generate samples from the posterior distribution of interest. These models can be trained using one of two possible objective functions, one of which approximates the score of the intractable likelihood, while the other directly estimates the score of the posterior. We embed these models into a sequential training procedure, which guides simulations using the current approximation of the posterior at the observation of interest, thereby reducing the simulation cost. We validate our methods, as well as their amortised, non-sequential variants, on several numerical examples, demonstrating comparable or superior performance to existing state-of-the-art methods such as Sequential Neural Posterior Estimation (SNPE) and Sequential Neural Likelihood Estimation (SNLE).