Clusters and Coarse Partitions in LP Relaxations

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)

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David Sontag, Amir Globerson, Tommi Jaakkola


We propose a new class of consistency constraints for Linear Programming (LP) relaxations for finding the most probable (MAP) configuration in graphical models. Usual cluster-based LP relaxations enforce joint consistency of the beliefs of a cluster of variables, with computational cost increasing exponentially with the size of the clusters. By partitioning the state space of a cluster and enforcing consistency only across partitions, we obtain a class of constraints which, although less tight, are computationally feasible for large clusters. We show how to solve the cluster selection and partitioning problem monotonically in the dual LP, using the current beliefs to guide these choices. We obtain a dual message-passing algorithm and apply it to protein design problems where the variables have large state spaces and the usual cluster-based relaxations are very costly.