Rank-based search operators for learning latent variable models

Ricardo Silva


  We derive a Bayesian search algorithm for learning the structure of latent variable models. This is performed by searching for subsets of the observed variables whose covariance matrix can be represented as a sum of a matrix of low rank and a diagonal matrix of residuals. The resulting search procedure is relatively efficient by using a variational approximation. The model itself is a generalization of factor analysis and its variations, where we do not constrain the dependency structure among latents. The resulting models are often simpler and give a better fit than models where latents are constrained, e.g., to be independent.

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Pradeep Ravikumar
Last modified: Thu Apr 21 23:32:54 EDT 2005