Agreement-Based Learning

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 20 (NIPS 2007)

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Percy S. Liang, Dan Klein, Michael Jordan


The learning of probabilistic models with many hidden variables and non- decomposable dependencies is an important and challenging problem. In contrast to traditional approaches based on approximate inference in a single intractable model, our approach is to train a set of tractable submodels by encouraging them to agree on the hidden variables. This allows us to capture non-decomposable aspects of the data while still maintaining tractability. We propose an objective function for our approach, derive EM-style algorithms for parameter estimation, and demonstrate their effectiveness on three challenging real-world learning tasks.