Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence
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Maximum Likelihood Bounded Tree-Width Markov Networks
Nathan Srebro
Chow and Liu (1968) studied the problem of learning a maximumlikelihood Markov tree. We generalize their work to more complexMarkov networks by considering the problem of learning a maximumlikelihood Markov network of bounded complexity. We discuss howtree-width is in many ways the appropriate measure of complexity andthus analyze the problem of learning a maximum likelihood Markovnetwork of bounded tree-width.Similar to the work of Chow and Liu, we are able to formalize thelearning problem as a combinatorial optimization problem on graphs. Weshow that learning a maximum likelihood Markov network of boundedtree-width is equivalent to finding a maximum weight hypertree. Thisequivalence gives rise to global, integer-programming based,approximation algorithms with provable performance guarantees, for thelearning problem. This contrasts with heuristic local-searchalgorithms which were previously suggested (e.g. by Malvestuto 1991).The equivalence also allows us to study the computational hardness ofthe learning problem. We show that learning a maximum likelihoodMarkov network of bounded tree-width is NP-hard, and discuss thehardness of approximation.
Pages: 504-511
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PDF Link: /papers/01/p504-srebro.pdf
AUTHOR = "Nathan Srebro ",
TITLE = "Maximum Likelihood Bounded Tree-Width Markov Networks",
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 = "504--511"

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