Non-stationary dynamic Bayesian networks

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

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Joshua Robinson, Alexander Hartemink


A principled mechanism for identifying conditional dependencies in time-series data is provided through structure learning of dynamic Bayesian networks (DBNs). An important assumption of DBN structure learning is that the data are generated by a stationary process—an assumption that is not true in many important settings. In this paper, we introduce a new class of graphical models called non-stationary dynamic Bayesian networks, in which the conditional dependence structure of the underlying data-generation process is permitted to change over time. Non-stationary dynamic Bayesian networks represent a new framework for studying problems in which the structure of a network is evolving over time. We define the non-stationary DBN model, present an MCMC sampling algorithm for learning the structure of the model from time-series data under different assumptions, and demonstrate the effectiveness of the algorithm on both simulated and biological data.