Tuesday, April 29, 2008

[Reading] An Introduction to Graphical Models

This is a very good introduction paper for the graphical model. It elegantly explains why and when we should use the graphical model, what operations are usually used in the graphical model (so you may map your problem into one of them), and what tools are available to run these operations efficiently.

One main reason to use the graphical model is efficient computing. By explicitly expressing the dependency between the variables, the number of summation in inference and decision making can be greatly reduced. Also the approximate inference algorithms can be better understood. The message passing and graph cut methods all direct operate on the nodes and edges of the graphical model.

The paper also mentioned a topic that I didn't enter before, learning the structure of the graphical model. However, I personally think this is an aesthetic problem instead of a computational problem, since the search space is almost infinite and the goal (e.g., suitable for inference or decision making) is hard to formulate as an objective function. Even a rough graphical model is estimated, manual effort is still required to beautify its structure.

1 comment:

winston said...

very impressed for your talk today. :) No doubt to be named "SIGGRAPH" Liang.