Likelihoods and Parameter Priors for Bayesian Networks

05/13/2021 ∙ by David Heckerman, et al. ∙ 0

We develop simple methods for constructing likelihoods and parameter priors for learning about the parameters and structure of a Bayesian network. In particular, we introduce several assumptions that permit the construction of likelihoods and parameter priors for a large number of Bayesian-network structures from a small set of assessments. The most notable assumption is that of likelihood equivalence, which says that data can not help to discriminate network structures that encode the same assertions of conditional independence. We describe the constructions that follow from these assumptions, and also present a method for directly computing the marginal likelihood of a random sample with no missing observations. Also, we show how these assumptions lead to a general framework for characterizing parameter priors of multivariate distributions.

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