Decomposing Parameter Estimation Problems

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

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Khaled S. Refaat, Arthur Choi, Adnan Darwiche


We propose a technique for decomposing the parameter learning problem in Bayesian networks into independent learning problems. Our technique applies to incomplete datasets and exploits variables that are either hidden or observed in the given dataset. We show empirically that the proposed technique can lead to orders-of-magnitude savings in learning time. We explain, analytically and empirically, the reasons behind our reported savings, and compare the proposed technique to related ones that are sometimes used by inference algorithms.