- Discovery and density estimation of latent confounders in Bayesian networks with evidence lower bound(arXiv)
Abstract : Discovering and parameterising latent confounders represent important and challenging problems in causal structure learning and density estimation respectively. In this paper, we focus on both discovering and learning the distribution of latent confounders. This task requires solutions that come from different areas of statistics and machine learning. We combine elements of variational Bayesian methods, expectation-maximisation, hill-climbing search, and structure learning under the assumption of causal insufficiency. We propose two learning strategies; one that maximises model selection accuracy, and another that improves computational efficiency in exchange for minor reductions in accuracy. The former strategy is suitable for small networks and the latter for moderate size networks. Both learning strategies perform well relative to existing solutions.
2. Studies in Lower Bounding Probabilities of Evidence using the Markov Inequality(arXiv)
Abstract : Computing the probability of evidence even with known error bounds is NP-hard. In this paper we address this hard problem by settling on an easier problem. We propose an approximation which provides high confidence lower bounds on probability of evidence but does not have any guarantees in terms of relative or absolute error. Our proposed approximation is a randomized importance sampling scheme that uses the Markov inequality. However, a straight-forward application of the Markov inequality may lead to poor lower bounds. We therefore propose several heuristic measures to improve its performance in practice. Empirical evaluation of our scheme with state-of- the-art lower bounding schemes reveals the promise of our approach