Inference in Probabilistic Graphical Models by Graph Neural Networks


    A fundamental computation for statistical inference and accurate decision-making is to compute the marginal probabilities or most probable states of task-relevant variables. Probabilistic graphical models can efficiently represent the structure of such complex data, but performing these inferences is generally difficult. Message-passing algorithms, such as belief propagation, are a natural way to disseminate evidence amongst correlated variables while exploiting the graph structure, but these algorithms can struggle when the conditional dependency graphs contain loops. Here we use Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) to learn a message-passing algorithm that solves these inference tasks. We first show that the architecture of GNNs is well-matched to inference tasks. We then demonstrate the efficacy of this inference approach by training GNNs on a collection of graphical models and showing that they substantially outperform belief propagation on loopy graphs. Our message-passing algorithms generalize out of the training set to larger graphs and graphs with different structure.


    KiJung Yoon, Renjie Liao, Yuwen Xiong, Lisa Zhang, Ethan Fetaya, Raquel Urtasun, Richard Zemel, Xaq Pitkow


    Workshop @ ICLR 2018

    Full Paper

    ‘Inference in Probabilistic Graphical Models by Graph Neural Networks’ (PDF)

    Uber ATG

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    Renjie Liao
    Renjie Liao is a PhD student in Machine Learning Group, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, supervised by Prof. Raquel Urtasun and Prof. Richard Zemel. He is also a Research Scientist in Uber Advanced Technology Group Toronto. He is also affiliated with Vector Institute. He received M.Phil. degree from Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong, under the supervision of Prof. Jiaya Jia. He got B.Eng. degree from School of Automation Science and Electrical Engineering in Beihang University (former Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics).
    Yuwen Xiong is a graduate student in Machine Learning Group at the University of Toronto, and a Research Scientist at Uber ATG Toronto, both supervised by Prof. Raquel Urtasun. Before that he received his bachelor degree in Computer Science from Zhejiang University in June 2018. His research interests include Computer Vision and Machine Learning, especially Deep Learning.
    Raquel Urtasun
    Raquel Urtasun is the Chief Scientist for Uber ATG and the Head of Uber ATG Toronto. She is also a Professor at the University of Toronto, a Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning and Computer Vision and a co-founder of the Vector Institute for AI. She is a recipient of an NSERC EWR Steacie Award, an NVIDIA Pioneers of AI Award, a Ministry of Education and Innovation Early Researcher Award, three Google Faculty Research Awards, an Amazon Faculty Research Award, a Connaught New Researcher Award, a Fallona Family Research Award and two Best Paper Runner up Prize awarded CVPR in 2013 and 2017. She was also named Chatelaine 2018 Woman of the year, and 2018 Toronto’s top influencers by Adweek magazine