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Generalized Cut Polytopes for Binary Hierarchical Models

by   Jane Ivy Coons, et al.

Marginal polytopes are important geometric objects that arise in statistics as the polytopes underlying hierarchical log-linear models. These polytopes can be used to answer geometric questions about these models, such as determining the existence of maximum likelihood estimates or the normality of the associated semigroup. Cut polytopes of graphs have been useful in analyzing binary marginal polytopes in the case where the simplicial complex underlying the hierarchical model is a graph. We introduce a generalized cut polytope that is isomorphic to the binary marginal polytope of an arbitrary simplicial complex via a generalized covariance map. This polytope is full dimensional in its ambient space and has a natural switching operation among its facets that can be used to deduce symmetries between the facets of the correlation and binary marginal polytopes. We find complete H-representations of the generalized cut polytope for some important families of simplicial complexes. We also compute the volume of these polytopes in some instances.


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