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Marginals-to-Models Reducibility
Tim Roughgarden · Michael Kearns

Thu Dec 05 07:00 PM -- 11:59 PM (PST) @ Harrah's Special Events Center, 2nd Floor

We consider a number of classical and new computational problems regarding marginal distributions, and inference in models specifying a full joint distribution. We prove general and efficient reductions between a number of these problems, which demonstrate that algorithmic progress in inference automatically yields progress for “pure data” problems. Our main technique involves formulating the problems as linear programs, and proving that the dual separation oracle for the Ellipsoid Method is provided by the target problem. This technique may be of independent interest in probabilistic inference.

Author Information

Tim Roughgarden (Stanford University)
Michael Kearns (University of Pennsylvania)

Michael Kearns is Professor and National Center Chair in the Computer and Information Science department at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include topics in machine learning, algorithmic game theory, social networks, and computational finance. Prior to joining the Penn faculty, he spent a decade at AT&T/Bell Labs, where he was head of AI Research. He is co-director of Penn’s Warren Center for Network and Data Sciences (warrencenter.upenn.edu), and founder of Penn’s Networked and Social Systems Engineering (NETS) undergraduate program (www.nets.upenn.edu). Kearns consults extensively in technology and finance, and is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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