Global Sensitivity Analysis for MAP Inference in Graphical Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 27 (NIPS 2014)

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Jasper De Bock, Cassio P. de Campos, Alessandro Antonucci


We study the sensitivity of a MAP configuration of a discrete probabilistic graphical model with respect to perturbations of its parameters. These perturbations are global, in the sense that simultaneous perturbations of all the parameters (or any chosen subset of them) are allowed. Our main contribution is an exact algorithm that can check whether the MAP configuration is robust with respect to given perturbations. Its complexity is essentially the same as that of obtaining the MAP configuration itself, so it can be promptly used with minimal effort. We use our algorithm to identify the largest global perturbation that does not induce a change in the MAP configuration, and we successfully apply this robustness measure in two practical scenarios: the prediction of facial action units with posed images and the classification of multiple real public data sets. A strong correlation between the proposed robustness measure and accuracy is verified in both scenarios.