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

Pushing Forward Marginal MAP with Best-First Search / 696
Radu Marinescu, Rina Dechter, Alexander Ihler

Marginal MAP is known to be a difficult task for graphical models, particularly because the evaluation of each MAP assignment involves a conditional likelihood computation. In order to minimize the number of likelihood evaluations, we focus in this paper on best-first search strategies for exploring the space of partial MAP assignments. We analyze the potential relative benefits of several best-first search algorithms and demonstrate their effectiveness against recent branch and bound schemes through extensive empirical evaluations. Our results show that best-first search improves significantly over existing depth-first approaches, in many cases by several orders of magnitude, especially when guided by relatively weak heuristics.