Efficient Inference in Large Discrete Domains

By Rita Sharma

In this paper we examine the problem of inference in Bayesian Networks with discrete random variables that have very large or even unbounded domains. For example, in a domain where we are trying to identify a person, we may have variables that have as domains, the set of all names, the set of all postal codes, or the set of all credit card numbers. We cannot just have big tables of the conditional probabilities, but need compact representations. We provide an inference algorithm, based on variable elimination, for belief networks containing both large domain and normal discrete random variables. We use intensional (i.e., in terms of procedures) and extensional (in terms of listing the elements) representations of conditional probabilities and of the intermediate factors.

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