Learning Chordal Markov Networks by Constraint Satisfaction

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 26 (NIPS 2013)

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Jukka Corander, Tomi Janhunen, Jussi Rintanen, Henrik Nyman, Johan Pensar


We investigate the problem of learning the structure of a Markov network from data. It is shown that the structure of such networks can be described in terms of constraints which enables the use of existing solver technology with optimization capabilities to compute optimal networks starting from initial scores computed from the data. To achieve efficient encodings, we develop a novel characterization of Markov network structure using a balancing condition on the separators between cliques forming the network. The resulting translations into propositional satisfiability and its extensions such as maximum satisfiability, satisfiability modulo theories, and answer set programming, enable us to prove the optimality of networks which have been previously found by stochastic search.