Relational networks

From Ilya Nemenman: Theoretical Biophysics @ Emory
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Often statistical, data-driven analysis is complemented with relational semantic analysis, which establishes the grammar of possible relations (clauses) between various objects in a relational network.


  1. J Lafferty, A McCallum, F Pereira. Conditional Random Fields: Probabilistic Models for Segmenting and Labeling Sequence Data. In Proceedings of the Eighteenth International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML-2001), 2001. PDF.
    We present conditional random fields , a framework for building probabilistic models to segment and label sequence data. Conditional random fields offer several advantages over hidden Markov models and stochastic grammars for such tasks, including the ability to relax strong independence assumptions made in those models. Conditional random fields also avoid a fundamental limitation of maximum entropy Markov models (MEMMs) and other discriminative Markov models based on directed graphical models, which can be biased towards states with few successor states. We present iterative parameter estimation algorithms for conditional random fields and compare the performance of the resulting models to HMMs and MEMMs on synthetic and natural-language data.
  2. H M Wallach. Conditional Random Fields: An Introduction. Technical Report MS-CIS-04-21. Department of Computer and Information Science, University of Pennsylvania, 2004. PDF.
  3. J Neville and D Jensen. Relational Dependency Networks. PDF.
    Recent work on graphical models for relational data has demonstrated significant improvements in classification and inference when models represent the dependencies among instances. Despite its use in conventional statistical models, the assumption of instance independence is contradicted by most relational datasets. For example, in citation data there are dependencies among the topics of a paper’s references, and in genomic data there are dependencies among the functions of interacting proteins. In this chapter we present relational dependency networks (RDNs), a graphical model that is capable of expressing and reasoning with such dependencies in a relational setting. We discuss RDNs in the context of relational Bayes networks and relational Markov networks and outline the relative strengths of RDNs—namely, the ability to represent cyclic dependencies, simple methods for parameter estimation, and efficient structure learning techniques. The strengths of RDNs are due to the use of pseudolikelihood learning techniques, which estimate an efficient approximation of the full joint distribution. We present learned RDNs for a number of real-world datasets and evaluate the models in a prediction context, showing that RDNs identify and exploit cyclic relational dependencies to achieve significant performance gains over conventional conditional models.
  4. T Eliassi-Rad, M Barthelemy and E Chow. Knowledge Representation Issues in Semantic Graphs for Relationship Detection, Papers from the 2005 AAAI Spring Symposium on AI Technologies for Homeland Security, AAAI Press, Stanford, CA, pp. 91-98, 2005. PDF.
    An important task for Homeland Security is the prediction of threat vulnerabilities, such as through the detection of relationships between seemingly disjoint entities. A structure used for this task is a semantic graph, also known as a relational data graph or an attributed relational graph. These graphs encode relationships as typed links between a pair of typed nodes. Indeed, semantic graphs are very similar to semantic networks used in AI. The node and link types are related through an ontology graph (also known as a schema). Furthermore, each node has a set of attributes associated with it (e.g., “age” may be an attribute of a node of type “person”). Unfortunately, the selection of types and attributes for both nodes and links depends on human expertise and is somewhat subjective and even arbitrary. This subjectiveness introduces biases into any algorithm that operates on semantic graphs. Here, we raise some knowledge representation issues for semantic graphs and provide some possible solutions using recently developed ideas in the field of complex networks. In particular, we use the concept of transitivity to evaluate the relevance of individual links in the semantic graph for detecting relationships. We also propose new statistical measures for semantic graphs and illustrate these semantic measures on graphs constructed from movies and terrorism data.