# Exact MAP inference in general higher-order graphical models using linear programming

This paper is concerned with the problem of exact MAP inference in general higher-order graphical models by means of a traditional linear programming relaxation approach. In fact, the proof that we have developed in this paper is a rather simple algebraic proof being made straightforward, above all, by the introduction of two novel algebraic tools. Indeed, on the one hand, we introduce the notion of delta-distribution which merely stands for the difference of two arbitrary probability distributions, and which mainly serves to alleviate the sign constraint inherent to a traditional probability distribution. On the other hand, we develop an approximation framework of general discrete functions by means of an orthogonal projection expressing in terms of linear combinations of function margins with respect to a given collection of point subsets, though, we rather exploit the latter approach for the purpose of modeling locally consistent sets of discrete functions from a global perspective. After that, as a first step, we develop from scratch the expectation optimization framework which is nothing else than a reformulation, on stochastic grounds, of the convex-hull approach, as a second step, we develop the traditional LP relaxation of such an expectation optimization approach, and we show that it enables to solve the MAP inference problem in graphical models under rather general assumptions. Last but not least, we describe an algorithm which allows to compute an exact MAP solution from a perhaps fractional optimal (probability) solution of the proposed LP relaxation.

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