## Beyond Trees: MRF Inference via Outer-Planar Decomposition (2010)

Citations: | 8 - 1 self |

### BibTeX

@MISC{Batra10beyondtrees:,

author = {Dhruv Batra and A. C. Gallagher and Devi Parikh and Tsuhan Chen},

title = {Beyond Trees: MRF Inference via Outer-Planar Decomposition},

year = {2010}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

Maximum a posteriori (MAP) inference in Markov Random Fields (MRFs) is an NP-hard problem, and thus research has focussed on either finding efficiently solvable subclasses (e.g. trees), or approximate algorithms (e.g. Loopy Belief Propagation (BP) and Tree-reweighted (TRW) methods). This paper presents a unifying perspective of these approximate techniques called “Decomposition Methods”. These are methods that decompose the given problem over a graph into tractable subproblems over subgraphs and then employ message passing over these subgraphs to merge the solutions of the subproblems into a global solution. This provides a new way of thinking about BP and TRW as successive steps in a hierarchy of decomposition methods. Using this framework, we take a principled first step towards extending this hierarchy beyond trees. We leverage a new class of graphs amenable to exact inference, called outerplanar graphs, and propose an approximate inference algorithm called Outer-Planar Decomposition (OPD). OPD is a strict generalization of BP and TRW, and contains both of them as special cases. Our experiments show that this extension beyond trees is indeed very powerful – OPD outperforms current state-of-art inference methods on hard non-submodular synthetic problems and is competitive on real computer vision applications.