Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence
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Approximating MAP using Local Search
James Park, Adnan Darwiche
MAP is the problem of finding a most probable instantiation of a set of variables in a Bayesian network, given evidence. Unlike computing marginals, posteriors, and MPE (a special case of MAP), the time and space complexity of MAP is not only exponential in the network treewidth, but also in a larger parameter known as the "constrained" treewidth. In practice, this means that computing MAP can be orders of magnitude more expensive than computingposteriors or MPE. Thus, practitioners generally avoid MAP computations, resorting instead to approximating them by the most likely value for each MAP variableseparately, or by MPE.We present a method for approximating MAP using local search. This method has space complexity which is exponential onlyin the treewidth, as is the complexity of each search step. We investigate the effectiveness of different local searchmethods and several initialization strategies and compare them to otherapproximation schemes.Experimental results show that local search provides a much more accurate approximation of MAP, while requiring few search steps.Practically, this means that the complexity of local search is often exponential only in treewidth as opposed to the constrained treewidth, making approximating MAP as efficient as other computations.
Pages: 403-410
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PDF Link: /papers/01/p403-park.pdf
AUTHOR = "James Park and Adnan Darwiche",
TITLE = "Approximating MAP using Local Search",
BOOKTITLE = "Proceedings of the Seventeenth Conference Annual Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI-01)",
PUBLISHER = "Morgan Kaufmann",
ADDRESS = "San Francisco, CA",
YEAR = "2001",
PAGES = "403--410"

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