The Potts-Ising model for discrete multivariate data

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 33 (NeurIPS 2020)

AuthorFeedback Bibtex MetaReview Paper Review Supplemental


Zahra Razaee, Arash Amini


Modeling dependencies in multivariate discrete data is a challenging problem, especially in high dimensions. The Potts model is a versatile such model, suitable when each coordinate is a categorical variable. However, the full Potts model has too many parameters to be accurately fit when the number of categories is large. We introduce a variation on the Potts model that allows for general categorical marginals and Ising-type multivariate dependence. This reduces the number of parameters from $\Omega(d^2 K^2)$ in the full Potts model to $O(d^2 + Kd)$, where $K$ is the number of categories and $d$ is the dimension of the data. We show that the complexity of fitting this new Potts-Ising model is the same as that of an Ising model. In particular, adopting the neighborhood regression framework, the model can be fit by solving $d$ separate logistic regressions. We demonstrate the ability of the model to capture multivariate dependencies by comparing with existing approaches.