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  1. Estimation of information theoretic quantities such as mutual information and its conditional variant has drawn interest in recent times owing to their multifaceted applications. Newly proposed neural estimators for these quantities have overcome severe drawbacks of classical kNN-based estimators in high dimensions. In this work, we focus on conditional mutual information (CMI) estimation by utilizing its formulation as a minmax optimization problem. Such a formulation leads to a joint training procedure similar to that of generative adversarial networks. We find that our proposed estimator provides better estimates than the existing approaches on a variety of simulated datasets comprising linear and non-linear relations between variables. As an application of CMI estimation, we deploy our estimator for conditional independence (CI) testing on real data and obtain better results than state-of-the-art CI testers
  2. Conditional Mutual Information (CMI) is a measure of conditional dependence between random variables X and Y, given another random variable Z. It can be used to quantify conditional dependence among variables in many data-driven inference problems such as graphical models, causal learning, feature selection and time-series analysis. While k-nearest neighbor (kNN) based estimators as well as kernel-based methods have been widely used for CMI estimation, they suffer severely from the curse of dimensionality. In this paper, we leverage advances in classifiers and generative models to design methods for CMI estimation. Specifically, we introduce an estimator for KL-Divergence based on the likelihood ratio by training a classifier to distinguish the observed joint distribution from the product distribution. We then show how to construct several CMI estimators using this basic divergence estimator by drawing ideas from conditional generative models. We demonstrate that the estimates from our proposed approaches do not degrade in performance with increasing dimension and obtain significant improvement over the widely used KSG estimator. Finally, as an application of accurate CMI estimation, we use our best estimator for conditional independence testing and achieve superior performance than the state-of-the-art tester on both simulated and real data-sets.