A Differential Semantics for Jointree Algorithms

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 15 (NIPS 2002)

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James Park, Adnan Darwiche


A new approach to inference in belief networks has been recently proposed, which is based on an algebraic representation of belief networks using multi{linear functions. According to this approach, the key computational question is that of representing multi{linear functions compactly, since inference reduces to a simple process of ev aluating and diļ¬erentiating such functions. W e show here that mainstream inference algorithms based on jointrees are a special case of this approach in a v ery precise sense. W e use this result to prov e new properties of jointree algorithms, and then discuss some of its practical and theoretical implications.