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Markov random fields factorization with context-specific independences

TitleMarkov random fields factorization with context-specific independences
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsEdera A, Bromberg F, Schlüter F
InstitutionarXiv.org
Report NumberarXiv:1306.2295
Abstract

Markov random fields provide a compact representation of joint probability distributions by representing its independence properties in an undirected graph. The well-known Hammersley-Clifford theorem uses these conditional independences to factorize a Gibbs distribution into a set of factors. However, an important issue of using a graph to represent independences is that it cannot encode some types of independence relations, such as the context-specific independences (CSIs). They are a particular case of conditional independences that is true only for a certain assignment of its conditioning set; in contrast to conditional independences that must hold for all its assignments. This work presents a method for factorizing a Markov random field according to CSIs present in a distribution, and formally guarantees that this factorization is correct. This is presented in our main contribution, the context-specific Hammersley-Clifford theorem, a generalization to CSIs of the Hammersley-Clifford theorem that applies for conditional independences.

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