Decomposition Bounds for Marginal MAP

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 28 (NIPS 2015)

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Authors

Wei Ping, Qiang Liu, Alexander T. Ihler

Abstract

<p>Marginal MAP inference involves making MAP predictions in systems defined with latent variables or missing information. It is significantly more difficult than pure marginalization and MAP tasks, for which a large class of efficient and convergent variational algorithms, such as dual decomposition, exist. In this work, we generalize dual decomposition to a generic powered-sum inference task, which includes marginal MAP, along with pure marginalization and MAP, as special cases. Our method is based on a block coordinate descent algorithm on a new convex decomposition bound, that is guaranteed to converge monotonically, and can be parallelized efficiently. We demonstrate our approach on various inference queries over real-world problems from the UAI approximate inference challenge, showing that our framework is faster and more reliable than previous methods.</p>