Learning Bayesian Nets that Perform Well

02/06/2013
by   Russell Greiner, et al.
0

A Bayesian net (BN) is more than a succinct way to encode a probabilistic distribution; it also corresponds to a function used to answer queries. A BN can therefore be evaluated by the accuracy of the answers it returns. Many algorithms for learning BNs, however, attempt to optimize another criterion (usually likelihood, possibly augmented with a regularizing term), which is independent of the distribution of queries that are posed. This paper takes the "performance criteria" seriously, and considers the challenge of computing the BN whose performance - read "accuracy over the distribution of queries" - is optimal. We show that many aspects of this learning task are more difficult than the corresponding subtasks in the standard model.

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