Proceedings Abstracts of the Twenty-Fifth International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence

Factored Probabilistic Belief Tracking / 3045
Blai Bonet, Hector Geffner

The problem of belief tracking in the presence of stochastic actions and observations is pervasive and yet computationally intractable. In this work we show however that probabilistic beliefs can be maintained in factored form exactly and efficiently across a number of causally closed beams, when the state variables that appear in more than one beam obey a form of backward determinism. Since computing marginals from the factors is still computationally intractable in general, and variables appearing in several beams are not always backward-deterministic, the basic formulation is extended with two approximations: forms of belief propagation for computing marginals from factors, and sampling of non-backward-deterministic variables for making such variables backward deterministic given their sampled history. Unlike, Rao-Blackwellized particle-filtering, the sampling is not used for making inference tractable but for making the factorization sound. The resulting algorithm involves sampling and belief propagation or just one of them as determined by the structure of the model.