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# Bayesian Structure Scores for Probabilistic Circuits

*Proceedings of The 26th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics*, PMLR 206:563-575, 2023.

#### Abstract

Probabilistic circuits (PCs) are a prominent representation of probability distributions with tractable inference. While parameter learning in PCs is rigorously studied, structure learning is often more based on heuristics than on principled objectives. In this paper, we develop Bayesian structure scores for deterministic PCs, i.e., the structure likelihood with parameters marginalized out, which are well known as rigorous objectives for structure learning in probabilistic graphical models. When used within a greedy cutset algorithm, our scores effectively protect against overfitting and yield a fast and almost hyper-parameter-free structure learner, distinguishing it from previous approaches. In experiments, we achieve good trade-offs between training time and model fit in terms of log-likelihood. Moreover, the principled nature of Bayesian scores unlocks PCs for accommodating frameworks such as structural expectation-maximization.