Exact Algorithms for MRE Inference

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Xiaoyuan Zhu
Changhe Yuan


Most Relevant Explanation (MRE) is an inference task in Bayesian networks that finds the most relevant partial instantiation of target variables as an explanation for given evidence by maximizing the Generalized Bayes Factor (GBF). No exact MRE algorithm has been developed previously except exhaustive search. This paper fills the void by introducing two Breadth-First Branch-and-Bound (BFBnB) algorithms for solving MRE based on novel upper bounds of GBF. One upper bound is created by decomposing the computation of GBF using a target blanket decomposition of evidence variables. The other upper bound improves the first bound in two ways. One is to split the target blankets that are too large by converting auxiliary nodes into pseudo-targets so as to scale to large problems. The other is to perform summations instead of maximizations on some of the target variables in each target blanket. Our empirical evaluations show that the proposed BFBnB algorithms make exact MRE inference tractable in Bayesian networks that could not be solved previously.

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