On Testing Whether an Embedded Bayesian Network Represents a Probability Model

by   Dan Geiger, et al.

Testing the validity of probabilistic models containing unmeasured (hidden) variables is shown to be a hard task. We show that the task of testing whether models are structurally incompatible with the data at hand, requires an exponential number of independence evaluations, each of the form: "X is conditionally independent of Y, given Z." In contrast, a linear number of such evaluations is required to test a standard Bayesian network (one per vertex). On the positive side, we show that if a network with hidden variables G has a tree skeleton, checking whether G represents a given probability model P requires the polynomial number of such independence evaluations. Moreover, we provide an algorithm that efficiently constructs a tree-structured Bayesian network (with hidden variables) that represents P if such a network exists, and further recognizes when such a network does not exist.


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