Convergent Propagation Algorithms via Oriented Trees

06/20/2012
by   Amir Globerson, et al.
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Inference problems in graphical models are often approximated by casting them as constrained optimization problems. Message passing algorithms, such as belief propagation, have previously been suggested as methods for solving these optimization problems. However, there are few convergence guarantees for such algorithms, and the algorithms are therefore not guaranteed to solve the corresponding optimization problem. Here we present an oriented tree decomposition algorithm that is guaranteed to converge to the global optimum of the Tree-Reweighted (TRW) variational problem. Our algorithm performs local updates in the convex dual of the TRW problem - an unconstrained generalized geometric program. Primal updates, also local, correspond to oriented reparametrization operations that leave the distribution intact.

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