I trained some Gaussian process model with the Python library GPFlow on a dataset consisting of $(X, Y)$, inputs and outputs, in a regression setting. This model gives me pretty good predictions in the sense that the relative error is small almost everywhere. I want to use the uncertainty as well, which is given in a GPFlow setting in the form of a standard deviation (STD) associated with every prediction. Here's my problem: I normalised both inputs and outputs before training (separately) using sklearn's StandardScaler (effectively making the data normally distributed with $0$ mean and unit STD). So the STD given by the model pertains to the scaled data. How do I "rescale" the uncertainty estimates of the GP to the actual data? Using the inverse_transform function of the output scaler makes little sense. This issue might be easier solvable if I scaled with a MinMaxScaler (squishing all data points into the unit interval) by dividing by the length of the range of the original output set (at least I think it works that way). But how about the case of the StandardScaler? Any insights will be appreciated!

  • $\begingroup$ I think it works by computing an interval of 1 STD around the predictions and then rescaling both interval boundaries, which should yield the corresponding interval on the original data set, irrespective of the way we scale. $\endgroup$
    – Leon
    Feb 6 '19 at 10:58

Not sure about which function to call in GPFlow, but the principle is simple. If your $Y$ data was scaled:

$$Y_{scaled} = {(Y - mean(Y)) \over {sd(Y)}}$$

So now if you have any prediction (from the scaled model) $\hat{Y}_{scaled}$, with stand error $\sigma_{\hat {Y}_{scaled}}$, then it is a normal distribution ${\cal N}(\hat {Y}_{scaled}, \sigma^2_{\hat {Y}_{scaled}})$. Then you can very easily rescale it back to the original scale ${\cal N}(\hat {Y}, \sigma^2_{\hat {Y}})$, where:

$$\hat {Y} = \hat {Y}_{scaled}\cdot sd(Y) + mean(Y)$$ $$\sigma_{\hat {Y}} = \sigma_{\hat {Y}_{scaled}} \cdot sd(Y)$$


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