## Tree-Based Reparameterization Framework for Analysis of Belief Propagation and Related Algorithms (2001)

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Citations: | 101 - 21 self |

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@MISC{Wainwright01tree-basedreparameterization,

author = {Martin Wainwright and Tommi Jaakkola and Alan Willsky},

title = {Tree-Based Reparameterization Framework for Analysis of Belief Propagation and Related Algorithms},

year = {2001}

}

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### Abstract

We present a tree-based reparameterization framework that provides a new conceptual view of a large class of algorithms for computing approximate marginals in graphs with cycles. This class includes the belief propagation or sum-product algorithm [39, 36], as well as a rich set of variations and extensions of belief propagation. Algorithms in this class can be formulated as a sequence of reparameterization updates, each of which entails re-factorizing a portion of the distribution corresponding to an acyclic subgraph (i.e., a tree). The ultimate goal is to obtain an alternative but equivalent factorization using functions that represent (exact or approximate) marginal distributions on cliques of the graph. Our framework highlights an important property of BP and the entire class of reparameterization algorithms: the distribution on the full graph is not changed. The perspective of tree-based updates gives rise to a simple and intuitive characterization of the fixed points in terms of tree consistency. We develop interpretations of these results in terms of information geometry. The invariance of the distribution, in conjunction with the fixed point characterization, enables us to derive an exact relation between the exact marginals on an arbitrary graph with cycles, and the approximations provided by belief propagation, and more broadly, any algorithm that minimizes the Bethe free energy. We also develop bounds on this approximation error, which illuminate the conditions that govern their accuracy. Finally, we show how the reparameterization perspective extends naturally to more structured approximations (e.g., Kikuchi and variants [52, 37]) that operate over higher order cliques.