An Experimental Study of Prior Dependence in Bayesian Network Structure Learning


Alvaro Henrique Chaim Correia, Cassio P. de Campos, Linda C. van der Gaag ;
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Imprecise Probabilities: Theories and Applications, PMLR 103:78-81, 2019.


The Bayesian Dirichlet equivalent uniform (BDeu) function is a popular score to evaluate the goodness of a Bayesian network structure given complete categorical data. Despite its interesting properties, such as likelihood equivalence, it does require a prior expressed via a user-defined parameter known as Equivalent Sample Size (ESS), which significantly affects the final structure. We study conditions to obtain prior independence in BDeu-based structure learning. We show in experiments that the amount of data needed to render the learning robust to different ESS values is prohibitively large, even in big data times.

Related Material