Structured Determinantal Point Processes

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)

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Alex Kulesza, Ben Taskar


We present a novel probabilistic model for distributions over sets of structures -- for example, sets of sequences, trees, or graphs. The critical characteristic of our model is a preference for diversity: sets containing dissimilar structures are more likely. Our model is a marriage of structured probabilistic models, like Markov random fields and context free grammars, with determinantal point processes, which arise in quantum physics as models of particles with repulsive interactions. We extend the determinantal point process model to handle an exponentially-sized set of particles (structures) via a natural factorization of the model into parts. We show how this factorization leads to tractable algorithms for exact inference, including computing marginals, computing conditional probabilities, and sampling. Our algorithms exploit a novel polynomially-sized dual representation of determinantal point processes, and use message passing over a special semiring to compute relevant quantities. We illustrate the advantages of the model on tracking and articulated pose estimation problems.