Learning Heterogeneous Hidden Markov Random Fields


Jie Liu, Chunming Zhang, Elizabeth Burnside, David Page ;
Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 33:576-584, 2014.


Hidden Markov random fields (HMRFs) are conventionally assumed to be homogeneous in the sense that the potential functions are invariant across different sites. However in some biological applications, it is desirable to make HMRFs heterogeneous, especially when there exists some background knowledge about how the potential functions vary. We formally define heterogeneous HMRFs and propose an EM algorithm whose M-step combines a contrastive divergence learner with a kernel smoothing step to incorporate the background knowledge. Simulations show that our algorithm is effective for learning heterogeneous HMRFs and outperforms alternative binning methods. We learn a heterogeneous HMRF in a real-world study.

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