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Choosing a Variable to Clamp

Frederik Eaton, Zoubin Ghahramani; JMLR W&CP 5:145-152, 2009.

Abstract

In this paper we propose an algorithm for approximate inference on graphical models based on belief propagation (BP). Our algorithm is an approximate version of Cutset Conditioning, in which a set of variables is instantiated to make the rest of the graph singly connected. We relax the constraint of single-connectedness, and select variables one at a time for conditioning, running belief propagation after each selection. We consider the problem of determining the best variable to clamp at each level of recursion, and propose a fast heuristic which applies backpropagation to the BP updates. We demonstrate that the heuristic performs better than selecting variables at random, and give experimental results which show that it performs competitively with existing approximate inference algorithms.



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