Priors over Recurrent Continuous Time Processes

Neural Information Processing Systems

We introduce the Gamma-Exponential Process (GEP), a prior over a large family ofcontinuous time stochastic processes. A hierarchical version of this prior (HGEP; the Hierarchical GEP) yields a useful model for analyzing complex time series. Models based on HGEPs display many attractive properties: conjugacy, exchangeability and closed-form predictive distribution for the waiting times, and exact Gibbs updates for the time scale parameters. After establishing these properties, weshow how posterior inference can be carried efficiently using Particle MCMC methods [1]. This yields a MCMC algorithm that can resample entire sequences atomicallywhile avoiding the complications of introducing slice and stick auxiliary variables of the beam sampler [2]. We applied our model to the problem of estimating the disease progression in multiple sclerosis [3], and to RNA evolutionary modeling[4]. In both domains, we found that our model outperformed the standard rate matrix estimation approach.


Probabilistic Event Cascades for Alzheimer's disease

Neural Information Processing Systems

Accurate and detailed models of the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's (AD) are crucially important for reliable early diagnosis and the determination and deployment of effective treatments. In this paper, we introduce the ALPACA (Alzheimer's disease Probabilistic Cascades) model, a generative model linking latent Alzheimer's progression dynamics to observable biomarker data. In contrast with previous works which model disease progression as a fixed ordering of events, we explicitly model the variability over such orderings among patients which is more realistic, particularly for highly detailed disease progression models. We describe efficient learning algorithms for ALPACA and discuss promising experimental results on a real cohort of Alzheimer's patients from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative.


Segregated Graphs and Marginals of Chain Graph Models

Neural Information Processing Systems

Bayesian networks are a popular representation of asymmetric (for example causal) relationships between random variables. Markov random fields (MRFs) are a complementary model of symmetric relationships used in computer vision, spatial modeling, and social and gene expression networks. A chain graph model under the Lauritzen-Wermuth-Frydenberg interpretation (hereafter a chain graph model) generalizes both Bayesian networks and MRFs, and can represent asymmetric and symmetric relationships together.As in other graphical models, the set of marginals from distributions in a chain graph model induced by the presence of hidden variables forms a complex model. One recent approach to the study of marginal graphical models is to consider a well-behaved supermodel. Such a supermodel of marginals of Bayesian networks, defined only by conditional independences, and termed the ordinary Markov model, was studied at length in (Evans and Richardson, 2014).In this paper, we show that special mixed graphs which we call segregated graphs can be associated, via a Markov property, with supermodels of a marginal of chain graphs defined only by conditional independences. Special features of segregated graphs imply the existence of a very natural factorization for these supermodels, and imply many existing results on the chain graph model, and ordinary Markov model carry over. Our results suggest that segregated graphs define an analogue of the ordinary Markov model for marginals of chain graph models.


On Gaussian Markov models for conditional independence

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Markov models lie at the interface between statistical independence in a probability distribution and graph separation properties. We review model selection and estimation in directed and undirected Markov models with Gaussian parametrization, emphasizing the main similarities and differences. These two models are similar but not equivalent, although they share a common intersection. We present the existing results from a historical perspective, taking into account the amount of literature existing from both the artificial intelligence and statistics research communities, where these models were originated. We also discuss how the Gaussian assumption can be relaxed. We finally point out the main areas of application where these Markov models are nowadays used.


Bayesian Markov Blanket Estimation

arXiv.org Machine Learning

This paper considers a Bayesian view for estimating a sub-network in a Markov random field. The sub-network corresponds to the Markov blanket of a set of query variables, where the set of potential neighbours here is big. We factorize the posterior such that the Markov blanket is conditionally independent of the network of the potential neighbours. By exploiting this blockwise decoupling, we derive analytic expressions for posterior conditionals. Subsequently, we develop an inference scheme which makes use of the factorization. As a result, estimation of a sub-network is possible without inferring an entire network. Since the resulting Gibbs sampler scales linearly with the number of variables, it can handle relatively large neighbourhoods. The proposed scheme results in faster convergence and superior mixing of the Markov chain than existing Bayesian network estimation techniques.