Compiling Bayesian Networks Using Variable Elimination

Mark Chavira, Adnan Darwiche

Compiling Bayesian networks has proven an effective approach for inference that can utilize both global and local network structure. In this paper, we define a new method of compiling based on variable elimination (VE) and Algebraic Decision Diagrams (ADDs). The approach is important for the following reasons. First, it exploits local structure much more effectively than previous techniques based on VE. Second, the approach allows any of the many VE variants to compute answers to multiple queries simultaneously. Third, the approach makes a large body of research into more structured representations of factors relevant in many more circumstances than it has been previously. Finally, experimental results demonstrate that VE can exploit local structure as effectively as state--of--the--art algorithms based on conditioning on the networks considered, and can sometimes lead to much faster compilation times.