We extend the Chow-Liu algorithm for general random variables while the previous versions only considered finite cases. In particular, this paper applies the generalization to Suzuki's learning algorithm that generates from data forests rather than trees based on the minimum description length by balancing the fitness of the data to the forest and the simplicity of the forest. As a result, we successfully obtain an algorithm when both of the Gaussian and finite random variables are present.

Holsclaw, Tracy, Greene, Arthur M., Robertson, Andrew W., Smyth, Padhraic

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.

Work in the classification literature has shown that in computing a classification function, one need not know the class membership of all observations in the training set; the unlabeled observations still provide information on the marginal distribution of the feature set, and can thus contribute to increased classification accuracy for future observations. The present paper will show that this scheme can also be used for the estimation of class prior probabilities, which would be very useful in applications in which it is difficult or expensive to determine class membership. Both parametric and nonparametric estimators are developed. Asymptotic distributions of the estimators are derived, and it is proven that the use of the unlabeled observations does reduce asymptotic variance. This methodology is also extended to the estimation of subclass probabilities.

Fox, Emily B., Sudderth, Erik B., Jordan, Michael I., Willsky, Alan S.

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.

Regulation of gene expression often involves proteins that bind to particular regions of DNA. Determining the binding sites for a protein and its specificity usually requires extensive biochemical and/or genetic experimentation. In this paper we illustrate the use of a neural network to obtain the desired information with much less experimental effort. It is often fairly easy to obtain a set of moderate length sequences, perhaps one or two hundred base-pairs, that each contain binding sites for the protein being studied. For example, the upstream regions of a set of genes that are all regulated by the same protein should each contain binding sites for that protein.