Uncertainty quantification for Markov Random Fields

08/31/2020 ∙ by Panagiota Birmpa, et al. ∙ 0

We present an information-based uncertainty quantification method for general Markov Random Fields. Markov Random Fields (MRF) are structured, probabilistic graphical models over undirected graphs, and provide a fundamental unifying modeling tool for statistical mechanics, probabilistic machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Typically MRFs are complex and high-dimensional with nodes and edges (connections) built in a modular fashion from simpler, low-dimensional probabilistic models and their local connections; in turn, this modularity allows to incorporate available data to MRFs and efficiently simulate them by leveraging their graph-theoretic structure. Learning graphical models from data and/or constructing them from physical modeling and constraints necessarily involves uncertainties inherited from data, modeling choices, or numerical approximations. These uncertainties in the MRF can be manifested either in the graph structure or the probability distribution functions, and necessarily will propagate in predictions for quantities of interest. Here we quantify such uncertainties using tight, information based bounds on the predictions of quantities of interest; these bounds take advantage of the graphical structure of MRFs and are capable of handling the inherent high-dimensionality of such graphical models. We demonstrate our methods in MRFs for medical diagnostics and statistical mechanics models. In the latter, we develop uncertainty quantification bounds for finite size effects and phase diagrams, which constitute two of the typical predictions goals of statistical mechanics modeling.

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