Probabilistic reasoning systems combine different probabilistic rules and probabilistic facts to arrive at the desired probability values of consequences. In this paper we describe the MESA-algorithm (Maximum Entropy by Simulated Annealing) that derives a joint distribution of variables or propositions. It takes into account the reliability of probability values and can resolve conflicts between contradictory statements. The joint distribution is represented in terms of marginal distributions and therefore allows to process large inference networks and to determine desired probability values with high precision. The procedure derives a maximum entropy distribution subject to the given constraints. It can be applied to inference networks of arbitrary topology and may be extended into a number of directions.
We propose a Bayesian nonparametric approach to the problem of jointly modeling multiple related time series. Our approach is based on the discovery of a set of latent, shared dynamical behaviors. Using a beta process prior, the size of the set and the sharing pattern are both inferred from data. We develop efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo methods based on the Indian buffet process representation of the predictive distribution of the beta process, without relying on a truncated model. In particular, our approach uses the sum-product algorithm to efficiently compute Metropolis-Hastings acceptance probabilities, and explores new dynamical behaviors via birth and death proposals. We examine the benefits of our proposed feature-based model on several synthetic datasets, and also demonstrate promising results on unsupervised segmentation of visual motion capture data.
When trying to recover 3D structure from a set of images, the most difficult problem is establishing the correspondence between the measurements. Most existing approaches assume that features can be tracked across frames, whereas methods that exploit rigidity constraints to facilitate matching do so only under restricted camera motion.In this paper we propose a Bayesian approach that avoids the brittleness associated with singling out one "best" correspondence, andinstead consider the distribution over all possible correspondences. We treat both a fully Bayesian approach that yields a posterior distribution, and a MAP approach that makes use of EM to maximize this posterior. We show how Markov chain Monte Carlo methods can be used to implement these techniques in practice, and present experimental results on real data.
Recent developments in differentially private (DP) machine learning and DP Bayesian learning have enabled learning under strong privacy guarantees for the training data subjects. In this paper, we further extend the applicability of DP Bayesian learning by presenting the first general DP Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm whose privacy-guarantees are not subject to unrealistic assumptions on Markov chain convergence and that is applicable to posterior inference in arbitrary models. Our algorithm is based on a decomposition of the Barker acceptance test that allows evaluating the R\'enyi DP privacy cost of the accept-reject choice. We further show how to improve the DP guarantee through data subsampling and approximate acceptance tests.
Discrete-time hidden Markov models are a broadly useful class of latent-variable models with applications in areas such as speech recognition, bioinformatics, and climate data analysis. It is common in practice to introduce temporal non-homogeneity into such models by making the transition probabilities dependent on time-varying exogenous input variables via a multinomial logistic parametrization. We extend such models to introduce additional non-homogeneity into the emission distribution using a generalized linear model (GLM), with data augmentation for sampling-based inference. However, the presence of the logistic function in the state transition model significantly complicates parameter inference for the overall model, particularly in a Bayesian context. To address this we extend the recently-proposed Polya-Gamma data augmentation approach to handle non-homogeneous hidden Markov models (NHMMs), allowing the development of an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) sampling scheme. We apply our model and inference scheme to 30 years of daily rainfall in India, leading to a number of insights into rainfall-related phenomena in the region. Our proposed approach allows for fully Bayesian analysis of relatively complex NHMMs on a scale that was not possible with previous methods. Software implementing the methods described in the paper is available via the R package NHMM.