Accelerating Bayesian Structural Inference for Non-Decomposable Gaussian Graphical Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 22 (NIPS 2009)

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Baback Moghaddam, Emtiyaz Khan, Kevin P. Murphy, Benjamin M. Marlin


In this paper we make several contributions towards accelerating approximate Bayesian structural inference for non-decomposable GGMs. Our first contribution is to show how to efficiently compute a BIC or Laplace approximation to the marginal likelihood of non-decomposable graphs using convex methods for precision matrix estimation. This optimization technique can be used as a fast scoring function inside standard Stochastic Local Search (SLS) for generating posterior samples. Our second contribution is a novel framework for efficiently generating large sets of high-quality graph topologies without performing local search. This graph proposal method, which we call Neighborhood Fusion" (NF), samples candidate Markov blankets at each node using sparse regression techniques. Our final contribution is a hybrid method combining the complementary strengths of NF and SLS. Experimental results in structural recovery and prediction tasks demonstrate that NF and hybrid NF/SLS out-perform state-of-the-art local search methods, on both synthetic and real-world datasets, when realistic computational limits are imposed."