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Probabilistic Graphical Models and Tensor Networks: A Hybrid Framework
Jacob Miller · Geoffrey Roeder

We investigate a correspondence between two formalisms for discrete probabilistic modeling: probabilistic graphical models (PGMs) and tensor networks (TNs), a powerful modeling framework for simulating complex quantum systems. The graphical calculus of PGMs and TNs exhibits many similarities, with discrete undirected graphical models (UGMs) being a special case of TNs. However, more general probabilistic TN models such as Born machines (BMs) employ complex-valued hidden states to produce novel forms of correlation among the probabilities. While representing a new modeling resource for capturing structure in discrete probability distributions, this behavior also renders the direct application of standard PGM tools impossible. We aim to bridge this gap by introducing a hybrid PGM-TN formalism that integrates quantum-like correlations into PGM models in a principled manner, using the physically-motivated concept of decoherence. We first prove that applying decoherence to the entirety of a BM model converts it into a discrete UGM, and conversely, that any subgraph of a discrete UGM can be represented as a decohered BM. This method allows a broad family of probabilistic TN models to be encoded as partially decohered BMs, a fact we leverage to combine the representational strengths of both model families. We experimentally verify the performance of such hybrid models in a sequential modeling task, and identify promising uses of our method within the context of existing applications of graphical models.

Author Information

Jacob Miller (Mila, Univérsité de Montréal)
Geoffrey Roeder (Princeton University X, Alphabet Inc.)

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