Building Predictive Models from Fractal Representations of Symbolic Sequences

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 12 (NIPS 1999)

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Peter Tiño, Georg Dorffner


We propose a novel approach for building finite memory predictive mod(cid:173) els similar in spirit to variable memory length Markov models (VLMMs). The models are constructed by first transforming the n-block structure of the training sequence into a spatial structure of points in a unit hypercube, such that the longer is the common suffix shared by any two n-blocks, the closer lie their point representations. Such a transformation embodies a Markov assumption - n-blocks with long common suffixes are likely to produce similar continuations. Finding a set of prediction contexts is formulated as a resource allocation problem solved by vector quantizing the spatial n-block representation. We compare our model with both the classical and variable memory length Markov models on three data sets with different memory and stochastic components. Our models have a superior performance, yet, their construction is fully automatic, which is shown to be problematic in the case of VLMMs.