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Accelerating Bayesian Structural Inference for Non-Decomposable Gaussian Graphical Models
Baback Moghaddam · Benjamin Marlin · Mohammad Emtiyaz Khan · Kevin Murphy

Thu Dec 10 09:30 AM -- 09:50 AM (PST) @

In this paper we make several contributions towards accelerating approximate Bayesian structural inference for non-decomposable GGMs. Our first contribution is to show how to efficiently compute a BIC or Laplace approximation to the marginal likelihood of non-decomposable graphs using convex methods for precision matrix estimation. This optimization technique can be used as a fast scoring function inside standard Stochastic Local Search (SLS) for generating posterior samples. Our second contribution is a novel framework for efficiently generating large sets of high-quality graph topologies without performing local search. This graph proposal method, which we call "Neighborhood Fusion" (NF), samples candidate Markov blankets at each node using sparse regression techniques. Our final contribution is a hybrid method combining the complementary strengths of NF and SLS. Experimental results in structural recovery and prediction tasks demonstrate that NF and hybrid NF/SLS out-perform state-of-the-art local search methods, on both synthetic and real-world datasets, when realistic computational limits are imposed.

Author Information

Baback Moghaddam (Caltech)
Benjamin Marlin (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Mohammad Emtiyaz Khan (RIKEN)

Emtiyaz Khan (also known as Emti) is a team leader at the RIKEN center for Advanced Intelligence Project (AIP) in Tokyo where he leads the Approximate Bayesian Inference Team. He is also a visiting professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology (TUAT). Previously, he was a postdoc and then a scientist at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where he also taught two large machine learning courses and received a teaching award. He finished his PhD in machine learning from University of British Columbia in 2012. The main goal of Emti’s research is to understand the principles of learning from data and use them to develop algorithms that can learn like living beings. For the past 10 years, his work has focused on developing Bayesian methods that could lead to such fundamental principles. The approximate Bayesian inference team now continues to use these principles, as well as derive new ones, to solve real-world problems.

Kevin Murphy (Google)

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