Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 21 (NIPS 2008)
Tran Truyen, Dinh Phung, Hung Bui, Svetha Venkatesh
Inspired by the hierarchical hidden Markov models (HHMM), we present the hierarchical semi-Markov conditional random field (HSCRF), a generalisation of embedded undirected Markov chains to model complex hierarchical, nested Markov processes. It is parameterised in a discriminative framework and has polynomial time algorithms for learning and inference. Importantly, we develop efficient algorithms for learning and constrained inference in a partially-supervised setting, which is important issue in practice where labels can only be obtained sparsely. We demonstrate the HSCRF in two applications: (i) recognising human activities of daily living (ADLs) from indoor surveillance cameras, and (ii) noun-phrase chunking. We show that the HSCRF is capable of learning rich hierarchical models with reasonable accuracy in both fully and partially observed data cases.