Evidence Estimation for Bayesian Partially Observed MRFs

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Yutian Chen, Max Welling ;
Proceedings of the Sixteenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 31:178-186, 2013.

Abstract

Bayesian estimation in Markov random fields is very hard due to the intractability of the partition function. The introduction of hidden units makes the situation even worse due to the presence of potentially very many modes in the posterior distribution. For the first time we propose a comprehensive procedure to address one of the Bayesian estimation problems, approximating the evidence of partially observed MRFs based on the Laplace approximation. We also introduce a number of approximate MCMC-based methods for comparison but find that the Laplace approximation significantly outperforms these.

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