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.


An unsupervised bayesian approach for the joint reconstruction and classification of cutaneous reflectance confocal microscopy images

arXiv.org Machine Learning

This paper studies a new Bayesian algorithm for the joint reconstruction and classification of reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) images, with application to the identification of human skin lentigo. The proposed Bayesian approach takes advantage of the distribution of the multiplicative speckle noise affecting the true reflectivity of these images and of appropriate priors for the unknown model parameters. A Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm is proposed to jointly estimate the model parameters and the image of true reflectivity while classifying images according to the distribution of their reflectivity. Precisely, a Metropolis-whitin-Gibbs sampler is investigated to sample the posterior distribution of the Bayesian model associated with RCM images and to build estimators of its parameters, including labels indicating the class of each RCM image. The resulting algorithm is applied to synthetic data and to real images from a clinical study containing healthy and lentigo patients.


Decadal climate predictions using sequential learning algorithms

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Ensembles of climate models are commonly used to improve climate predictions and assess the uncertainties associated with them. Weighting the models according to their performances holds the promise of further improving their predictions. Here, we use an ensemble of decadal climate predictions to demonstrate the ability of sequential learning algorithms (SLAs) to reduce the forecast errors and reduce the uncertainties. Three different SLAs are considered, and their performances are compared with those of an equally weighted ensemble, a linear regression and the climatology. Predictions of four different variables--the surface temperature, the zonal and meridional wind, and pressure--are considered. The spatial distributions of the performances are presented, and the statistical significance of the improvements achieved by the SLAs is tested. Based on the performances of the SLAs, we propose one to be highly suitable for the improvement of decadal climate predictions.


Audits as Evidence: Experiments, Ensembles, and Enforcement

arXiv.org Machine Learning

We develop tools for utilizing correspondence experiments to detect illegal discrimination by individual employers. Employers violate US employment law if their propensity to contact applicants depends on protected characteristics such as race or sex. We establish identification of higher moments of the causal effects of protected characteristics on callback rates as a function of the number of fictitious applications sent to each job ad. These moments are used to bound the fraction of jobs that illegally discriminate. Applying our results to three experimental datasets, we find evidence of significant employer heterogeneity in discriminatory behavior, with the standard deviation of gaps in job-specific callback probabilities across protected groups averaging roughly twice the mean gap. In a recent experiment manipulating racially distinctive names, we estimate that at least 85% of jobs that contact both of two white applications and neither of two black applications are engaged in illegal discrimination. To assess the tradeoff between type I and II errors presented by these patterns, we consider the performance of a series of decision rules for investigating suspicious callback behavior under a simple two-type model that rationalizes the experimental data. Though, in our preferred specification, only 17% of employers are estimated to discriminate on the basis of race, we find that an experiment sending 10 applications to each job would enable accurate detection of 7-10% of discriminators while falsely accusing fewer than 0.2% of non-discriminators. A minimax decision rule acknowledging partial identification of the joint distribution of callback rates yields higher error rates but more investigations than our baseline two-type model. Our results suggest illegal labor market discrimination can be reliably monitored with relatively small modifications to existing audit designs.