Learning the Architecture of Sum-Product Networks Using Clustering on Variables

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 25 (NIPS 2012)

Bibtex Metadata Paper


Aaron Dennis, Dan Ventura


The sum-product network (SPN) is a recently-proposed deep model consisting of a network of sum and product nodes, and has been shown to be competitive with state-of-the-art deep models on certain difficult tasks such as image completion. Designing an SPN network architecture that is suitable for the task at hand is an open question. We propose an algorithm for learning the SPN architecture from data. The idea is to cluster variables (as opposed to data instances) in order to identify variable subsets that strongly interact with one another. Nodes in the SPN network are then allocated towards explaining these interactions. Experimental evidence shows that learning the SPN architecture significantly improves its performance compared to using a previously-proposed static architecture.