Latent Graphical Model Selection: Efficient Methods for Locally Tree-like Graphs

Neural Information Processing Systems

Graphical model selection refers to the problem of estimating the unknown graph structure given observations at the nodes in the model. We consider a challenging instance of this problem when some of the nodes are latent or hidden. We characterize conditions for tractable graph estimation and develop efficient methods with provable guarantees. We consider the class of Ising models Markov on locally tree-like graphs, which are in the regime of correlation decay. We propose an efficient method for graph estimation, and establish its structural consistency when the number of samples $n$ scales as $n = \Omega(\theta_{\min}^{-\delta \eta(\eta+1)-2}\log p)$, where $\theta_{\min}$ is the minimum edge potential, $\delta$ is the depth (i.e., distance from a hidden node to the nearest observed nodes), and $\eta$ is a parameter which depends on the minimum and maximum node and edge potentials in the Ising model. The proposed method is practical to implement and provides flexibility to control the number of latent variables and the cycle lengths in the output graph. We also present necessary conditions for graph estimation by any method and show that our method nearly matches the lower bound on sample requirements.


Learning Latent Tree Graphical Models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We study the problem of learning a latent tree graphical model where samples are available only from a subset of variables. We propose two consistent and computationally efficient algorithms for learning minimal latent trees, that is, trees without any redundant hidden nodes. Unlike many existing methods, the observed nodes (or variables) are not constrained to be leaf nodes. Our first algorithm, recursive grouping, builds the latent tree recursively by identifying sibling groups using so-called information distances. One of the main contributions of this work is our second algorithm, which we refer to as CLGrouping. CLGrouping starts with a pre-processing procedure in which a tree over the observed variables is constructed. This global step groups the observed nodes that are likely to be close to each other in the true latent tree, thereby guiding subsequent recursive grouping (or equivalent procedures) on much smaller subsets of variables. This results in more accurate and efficient learning of latent trees. We also present regularized versions of our algorithms that learn latent tree approximations of arbitrary distributions. We compare the proposed algorithms to other methods by performing extensive numerical experiments on various latent tree graphical models such as hidden Markov models and star graphs. In addition, we demonstrate the applicability of our methods on real-world datasets by modeling the dependency structure of monthly stock returns in the S&P index and of the words in the 20 newsgroups dataset.


High-Dimensional Graphical Model Selection: Tractable Graph Families and Necessary Conditions

Neural Information Processing Systems

We consider the problem of Ising and Gaussian graphical model selection given n i.i.d. samples from the model. We propose an efficient threshold-based algorithm for structure estimation based known as conditional mutual information test. This simple local algorithm requires only low-order statistics of the data and decides whether two nodes are neighbors in the unknown graph. Under some transparent assumptions, we establish that the proposed algorithm is structurally consistent (or sparsistent) when the number of samples scales as n= Omega(J_{min}^{-4} log p), where p is the number of nodes and J_{min} is the minimum edge potential. We also prove novel non-asymptotic necessary conditions for graphical model selection.


Learning High-Dimensional Mixtures of Graphical Models

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We consider unsupervised estimation of mixtures of discrete graphical models, where the class variable corresponding to the mixture components is hidden and each mixture component over the observed variables can have a potentially different Markov graph structure and parameters. We propose a novel approach for estimating the mixture components, and our output is a tree-mixture model which serves as a good approximation to the underlying graphical model mixture. Our method is efficient when the union graph, which is the union of the Markov graphs of the mixture components, has sparse vertex separators between any pair of observed variables. This includes tree mixtures and mixtures of bounded degree graphs. For such models, we prove that our method correctly recovers the union graph structure and the tree structures corresponding to maximum-likelihood tree approximations of the mixture components. The sample and computational complexities of our method scale as $\poly(p, r)$, for an $r$-component mixture of $p$-variate graphical models. We further extend our results to the case when the union graph has sparse local separators between any pair of observed variables, such as mixtures of locally tree-like graphs, and the mixture components are in the regime of correlation decay.


Learning Mixtures of Tree Graphical Models

Neural Information Processing Systems

We consider unsupervised estimation of mixtures of discrete graphical models, where the class variable is hidden and each mixture component can have a potentially different Markov graph structure and parameters over the observed variables. We propose a novel method for estimating the mixture components with provable guarantees. Our output is a tree-mixture model which serves as a good approximation to the underlying graphical model mixture. The sample and computational requirements for our method scale as $\poly(p, r)$, for an $r$-component mixture of $p$-variate graphical models, for a wide class of models which includes tree mixtures and mixtures over bounded degree graphs.