Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)
Justin Domke, Xianghang Liu
Inference in general Ising models is difficult, due to high treewidth making tree-based algorithms intractable. Moreover, when interactions are strong, Gibbs sampling may take exponential time to converge to the stationary distribution. We present an algorithm to project Ising model parameters onto a parameter set that is guaranteed to be fast mixing, under several divergences. We find that Gibbs sampling using the projected parameters is more accurate than with the original parameters when interaction strengths are strong and when limited time is available for sampling.