Tree Block Coordinate Descent for MAP in Graphical Models


David Sontag, Tommi Jaakkola ;
Proceedings of the Twelth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics, PMLR 5:544-551, 2009.


A number of linear programming relaxations have been proposed for finding most likely settings of the variables (MAP) in large probabilistic models. The relaxations are often succinctly expressed in the dual and reduce to different types of reparameterizations of the original model. The dual objectives are typically solved by performing local block coordinate descent steps. In this work, we show how to perform block coordinate descent on spanning trees of the graphical model. We also show how all of the earlier dual algorithms are related to each other, giving transformations from one type of reparameterization to another while maintaining monotonicity relative to a common objective function. Finally, we quantify when the MAP solution can and cannot be decoded directly from the dual LP relaxation.

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