In this talk, we introduce a variational approach for Markov processes (VAMP) that allows us to find optimal feature mappings and optimal Markovian models of the dynamics from given time series data. The key insight is that the best linear model can be obtained from the top singular components of the Koopman operator. This leads to the definition of a family of score functions called VAMP-r which can be calculated from data, and can be employed to optimize a Markovian model. In addition, based on the relationship between the variational scores and approximation errors of Koopman operators, we propose a new VAMP-E score, which can be applied to cross-validation for hyper-parameter optimization and model selection in VAMP. VAMP is valid for both reversible and nonreversible processes and for stationary and non-stationary processes or realizations.
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