## Constructing Free Energy Approximations and Generalized Belief Propagation Algorithms (2005)

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Venue: | IEEE Transactions on Information Theory |

Citations: | 442 - 12 self |

### BibTeX

@ARTICLE{Yedidia05constructingfree,

author = {Jonathan S. Yedidia and William T. Freeman and Yair Weiss},

title = {Constructing Free Energy Approximations and Generalized Belief Propagation Algorithms},

journal = {IEEE Transactions on Information Theory},

year = {2005},

volume = {51},

pages = {2282--2312}

}

### Years of Citing Articles

### OpenURL

### Abstract

Important inference problems in statistical physics, computer vision, error-correcting coding theory, and artificial intelligence can all be reformulated as the computation of marginal probabilities on factor graphs. The belief propagation (BP) algorithm is an efficient way to solve these problems that is exact when the factor graph is a tree, but only approximate when the factor graph has cycles. We show that BP fixed points correspond to the stationary points of the Bethe approximation of the free energy for a factor graph. We explain how to obtain regionbased free energy approximations that improve the Bethe approximation, and corresponding generalized belief propagation (GBP) algorithms. We emphasize the conditions a free energy approximation must satisfy in order to be a “valid ” or “maxent-normal ” approximation. We describe the relationship between four different methods that can be used to generate valid approximations: the “Bethe method, ” the “junction graph method, ” the “cluster variation method, ” and the “region graph method.” Finally, we explain how to tell whether a region-based approximation, and its corresponding GBP algorithm, is likely to be accurate, and describe empirical results showing that GBP can significantly outperform BP.

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Citation Context ...phical models with cycles. Nevertheless, in such cases there are no guarantees, and sometimes the results are quite poor, or the algorithm fails to give any result at all because it does not converge =-=[14]-=-. Two major goals of this paper are to explain why the standard BP algorithm often works so well even for graphical models with cycles, and to use that understanding to develop improved algorithms for... |

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Citation Context ...Eliece and Yildirim in [30]. We have also previously released a number of technical reports [33], [34], [35] that are largely superseded by this paper, as well as a somewhat more popular introduction =-=[36]-=-. The outline for the rest of the paper is as follows. In section II, we review and introduce our notation for factor graphs and the standard BP algorithm. In sections III and IV, we introduce and exp... |

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Citation Context ...the Bethe approximation. In graphs with no more than a single cycle, it was � known � that� if all (� ��� ����� factors are � strictly � positive for all and ), then there =-=was a unique BP fixed point.[33]-=- For general graphs, we can use the equivalence established above to answer a question about the uniqueness of stationary points for the Bethe free energy. The issue of the number of stationary points... |

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Citation Context ...numbers to differ from those given in the Bethe approximation, is one way of deriving the “fractional belief propagation algorithm” [40] and the essentially equivalent “convexified Bethe free en=-=ergy” [41]-=- approximation. In this paper, we will always assume just one set of counting numbers. In fact, not all region-based approximations to the variational free energy are equally good. At this point, we i... |

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Citation Context ...t the beliefs are in a feasible set. Based on the equivalence, first noted in our earlier work [17], others have recently devised algorithms that directly minimize the free energy on the feasible set =-=[35]-=-, [36], [37]. Such free energy minimizations are somewhat slower than the BP algorithm, but they are guaranteed to converge. VI. THE REGION GRAPH METHOD We now introduce region graphs, which are centr... |

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Citation Context ...fs, but at one of the fixed points, the beliefs are biased towards the first binary state, while at the other fixed point, the beliefs are biased towards the second binary state. Tatikonda and Jordan =-=[47]-=- have explored the question of uniqueness of BP fixed points in detail. They used the connection to the Bethe free energy to obtain a set of sufficient conditions on the strength of the factors fa(xa)... |

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Citation Context ...raphs [29]. We also recommend the elegant exposition of generalized belief propagation presented by McEliece and Yildirim in [30]. We have also previously released a number of technical reports [33], =-=[34]-=-, [35] that are largely superseded by this paper, as well as a somewhat more popular introduction [36]. The outline for the rest of the paper is as follows. In section II, we review and introduce our ... |

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Citation Context ...ard BP algorithm provide different insights, and we refer the interested reader to a number of important recent papers that exploit alternative views of the BP algorithm [21], [22], [23], [24], [25], =-=[26]-=-. After our original work which introduced region-based free energies and GBP algorithms based on the cluster variation method, Aji and McEliece introduced a class of free energy approximations and GB... |

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Citation Context ...ld be BP fixed points. To complete the general picture of the relation between BP fixed points and the stationary points of the constrained Bethe free energy, we refer the reader to a paper by Heskes =-=[52]-=-, which argues that stable BP fixed points must be local minima of the constrained Bethe free energy, but gives a counter-example that shows that the converse is not true. VII. THE REGION GRAPH METHOD... |

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Citation Context ...tions of the standard BP algorithm provide different insights, and we refer the interested reader to a number of important recent papers that exploit alternative views of the BP algorithm [21], [22], =-=[23]-=-, [24], [25], [26]. After our original work which introduced region-based free energies and GBP algorithms based on the cluster variation method, Aji and McEliece introduced a class of free energy app... |

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Citation Context ... fixed points ane Bethe free energy stationary points, first noted in our earlier work [17], others have devised algorithms that directly minimize the free energy on the feasible set of beliefs [49], =-=[50]-=-, [51]. Such free energy minimizations are somewhat slower than the BP algorithm, but they are guaranteed to converge. D. Factor Graphs Containing Hard Constraints We now return to consider the more g... |

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Citation Context ...will disfavor the (correct) uniform distribution. It is therefore no surprise that other researchers have noticed that this approximation gives poor results for the Sherrington-Kirpatrick model [51], =-=[55]-=-. B. Example of an Approximation that is Maxent-Normal Fortunately, it is not too hard to find examples of region graph approximations that are maxent-normal, besides those based on the Bethe approxim... |

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Citation Context ...uced region-based free energies and GBP algorithms based on the cluster variation method, Aji and McEliece introduced a class of free energy approximations and GBP algorithms based on junction graphs =-=[27]-=-. One of the goals of this paper is to unify our previous approach with the one that Aji and McEliece presented. McEliece and Yildirim have independently developed a unified approach Here is an index ... |

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Citation Context ... of cycles. Thus, a common approach for dealing with graphical models that do have cycles is to try to convert them to equivalent cyclefree graphical models, and then to use the standard BP algorithm =-=[13]-=-. In some cases, this is possible, but for many other cases of practical interest, such an approach is intractable, and one must settle for approximate methods. Fortunately, the standard BP algorithms... |

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30 | Fractional belief propagation
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Citation Context ...sed in the Bethe approximation, but modifying the entropic counting numbers to differ from those given in the Bethe approximation, is one way of deriving the “fractional belief propagation algorithm” =-=[40]-=- and the essentially equivalent “convexified Bethe free energy” [41] approximation. In this paper, we will always assume just one set of counting numbers. In fact, not all region-based approximations ... |

27 |
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Citation Context ... 2 and 3 prefers them to be in different states. Not all of these factors can be satisfied simultaneously; this is thus a very simple example of what statistical physicists call a “frustrated” sys=-=tem [42]. The be-=-liefs ba(xa) and bi(xi) that minimize the constrained Bethe free energy for this model are � � 0.4 0.1 bA(x1, x2) = bB(x1, x3) = , (50) 0.1 0.4 � � 0.1 0.4 bC(x1, x2) = , (51) 0.4 0.1 9 and b1... |

25 | Belief propagation and statistical physics
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Citation Context ...ropagation which is largely equivalent to our region graph approach, and we recommend their elegant exposition [28]. Pakzad and Anantharam have also recently presented parallel ideas in a brief paper =-=[29]-=-. The outline for the rest of the paper is as follows. In section II, we review and introduce our notation for factor graphs and the standard BP algorithm. In sections III and IV, we introduce and exp... |

23 | Belief propagation on partially ordered sets
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Citation Context ...beling functions , where the function has arguments that are some subset of . to belief propagation which is largely equivalent to our region graph approach, and we recommend their elegant exposition =-=[28]-=-. Pakzad and Anantharam have also recently presented parallel ideas in a brief paper [29]. The outline for the rest of the paper is as follows. In section II, we review and introduce our notation for ... |

21 |
On the choice of regions for generalized belief propagation
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Citation Context ...and automatically construct maxent-normal region graph approximations that also satisfied our heuristics. We do not know of any such method, but we refer the reader to an interesting paper by Welling =-=[56], wh-=-o developed a “bottom-up” approach to generating region graph approximations starting from the Bethe approximation. IX. GENERALIZED BELIEF PROPAGATION ALGORITHMS We have already seen that the stat... |

20 | Novel iteration schemes for the cluster variation method
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Citation Context ...s are in a feasible set. Based on the equivalence, first noted in our earlier work [17], others have recently devised algorithms that directly minimize the free energy on the feasible set [35], [36], =-=[37]-=-. Such free energy minimizations are somewhat slower than the BP algorithm, but they are guaranteed to converge. VI. THE REGION GRAPH METHOD We now introduce region graphs, which are central to the re... |