PASCAL - Pattern Analysis, Statistical Modelling and Computational Learning

A simple approach for finding the globally optimal Bayesian network structure
Tomi Silander and Petri Myllymäki
In: 22nd Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence, 13 - 16 July 2006, Cambridge, Massachusets, USA.


We study the problem of learning the best Bayesian network structure with respect to a decomposable score such as BDe, BIC or AIC. This problem is known to be \hbox{NP-hard}, which means that solving it becomes quickly infeasible as the number of variables increases. Nevertheless, in this paper we show that it is possible to learn the best Bayesian network structure with over 30 variables, which covers many practically interesting cases. Our algorithm is less complicated and more efficient than the techniques presented earlier. It can be easily parallelized, and offers a possibility for efficient exploration of the best networks consistent with different variable orderings. In the experimental part of the paper we compare the performance of the algorithm to the previous state-of-the-art algorithm. Free source-code and an online-demo can be found at

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EPrint Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Project Keyword:Project Keyword UNSPECIFIED
Subjects:Learning/Statistics & Optimisation
ID Code:2135
Deposited By:Tomi Silander
Deposited On:28 June 2006