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Knowledge-Based Probabilistic Reasoning from Expert Systems to Graphical Models


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An important research enterprise for the Artificial Intelligence community since the 1970s has been the design of expert or "knowledge-based" systems. These programs used explicitly encoded human knowledge, often in the form of a production rule system, to solve problems in the areas of diagnostics and prognostics. The earliest research/development program in expert systems was created by Professor Edward Feigenbaum at Stanford University (Buchanan and Shortliff 1984). Because the expert system often addresses problems that are imprecise and not fully proposed, with data sets that are often inexact and unclear, the role of various forms of probabilistic support for reasoning is important. The 1990s saw radical new approaches to the design of automated reasoning/diagnostic systems. With the creation of graphical models, the explicit pieces of human knowledge (of the expert system) were encoded into causal networks, sometimes referred to as Bayesian belief networks (BBNs). The reasoning supporting these networks, based on two simplifying assumptions (that reasoning could not be cyclic and that the causality supporting a child state would be expressed in the links between it and its parent states) made BBN reasoning quite manageable computationally. In recent years the use of graphical models has replaced the traditional expert system, especially in situations where reasoning was diagnostic and prognostic, i.e., extending from concrete situations to the best explanations for their occurrence. This type reasoning is often termed abductive. In this chapter we first (Section 1) present the technology supporting the traditional knowledge-based expert system, including the production system for reasoning with rules. Next (Section 2), we discuss Bayesian inference, and the adoption of simplifying techniques such as the Stanford Certainty Factor Algebra. We then (Section 3) introduce graphical models, including the assumptions supporting the use of Bayesian belief networks (BBN), and present an example of BBN reasoning. We conclude (Section 4) with a brief introduction of a next generation system for diagnostic reasoning with more expressive forms of the BBN. Section 1: Expert Systems We begin with the presentation of some of the traditional application areas of the rule based technology. We then describe the software architecture supporting its development.
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Knowledge-Based Probabilistic Reasoning from Expert Systems to Graphical
George F. Luger & Chayan Chakrabarti
{luger | cc}
Department of Computer Science
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131
An important research enterprise for the Artificial Intelligence community since the 1970s has
been the design of expert or “knowledge-based” systems. These programs used explicitly
encoded human knowledge, often in the form of a production rule system, to solve problems in
the areas of diagnostics and prognostics. The earliest research/development program in expert
systems was created by Professor Edward Feigenbaum at Stanford University (Buchanan and
Shortliff 1984). Because the expert system often addresses problems that are imprecise and not
fully proposed, with data sets that are often inexact and unclear, the role of various forms of
probabilistic support for reasoning is important.
The 1990s saw radical new approaches to the design of automated reasoning/diagnostic
systems. With the creation of graphical models, the explicit pieces of human knowledge (of the
expert system) were encoded into causal networks, sometimes referred to as Bayesian belief
networks (BBNs). The reasoning supporting these networks, based on two simplifying
assumptions (that reasoning could not be cyclic and that the causality supporting a child state
would be expressed in the links between it and its parent states) made BBN reasoning quite
manageable computationally. In recent years the use of graphical models has replaced the
traditional expert system, especially in situations where reasoning was diagnostic and
prognostic, i.e., extending from concrete situations to the best explanations for their occurrence.
This type reasoning is often termed abductive.
In this chapter we first (Section 1) present the technology supporting the traditional
knowledge-based expert system, including the production system for reasoning with rules. Next
(Section 2), we discuss Bayesian inference, and the adoption of simplifying techniques such as
the Stanford Certainty Factor Algebra. We then (Section 3) introduce graphical models,
including the assumptions supporting the use of Bayesian belief networks (BBN), and present
an example of BBN reasoning. We conclude (Section 4) with a brief introduction of a next
generation system for diagnostic reasoning with more expressive forms of the BBN.
Section 1: Expert Systems
We begin with the presentation of some of the traditional application areas of the rule based
technology. We then describe the software architecture supporting its development.
1.1 Introduction of the Traditional Expert System
The rationale behind “knowledge-based” problem solvers was that human experts knew a lot
about their area of expertise. Expert systems designers acquire this knowledge from human
experts and then program the system to emulate th4e human expert’s methodology. These
human experts also augment the system’s knowledge with tricks, shortcuts and heuristics that
they have gained from experience. These heuristics can also be encoded using probabilistic
methods. Expert systems are built to solve a wide range of problems in domains such as
medicine, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, geology, computer science, business, law,
defense, and education. The range of problem categories can be summarized as follows
(Waterman 1986).
Interpretation—forming high-level conclusions from collections of raw data.
Prediction—projecting probable consequences of given situations.
Diagnosis—determining the cause of malfunctions in complex situations based on
observable symptoms.
Design—finding a configuration of system components that meets performance
goals while satisfying a set of design constraints.
Planning—devising a sequence of actions that will achieve a set of goals given
certain starting conditions and run-time constraints.
Monitoring—comparing a system’s observed behavior to its expected behavior.
Instruction—assisting in the education process in technical domains.
Control—governing the behavior of a complex environment.
Generally, expert systems programs tend to support the iterative development
methodology. This requires that programs be easily prototyped, tested and changed. Easy
modification of the knowledge base is vital for successful expert system design. Also, it is
important that the expert system can display all the intermediate problem solving steps and can
justify choices and decisions. These explanations are important for a human expert, such as a
doctor or an engineer, if he is to accept the system’s recommendations.
1.2 The Design of Rule-Based Expert Systems
Figure 1.1 shows the modules that make up a typical expert system. The user interface, often
graphical, hides much of the complexity of the system. All the knowledge of a problem domain
is encoded in the knowledge-base, which is the heart of the system. Most often, this consists of
if... then... rules. The inference engine applies the knowledge to the solution of actual problems.
This can be done using a production system (Section 1.3). The knowledge base and inference
engine are separated for several reasons:
1. If ... then... rules are a very natural way to represent human problem-solving skills.
2. System designers can focus on capturing problem-solving knowledge without worrying
about implementation details.
3. Changes can be made in one part of the knowledge-base without affecting others.
4. The same inference engine can be plugged into different expert systems and work on
different knowledge-bases.
The knowledge-base is augmented with case-specific data, which contains information
relevant to the case under consideration. The explanation subsystem allows the program to
explain its reasoning to the user.
1.3 The Production System in Expert System Problem Solving
The production system is a model of computation that has proved particularly important in
artificial intelligence, both for implementing search algorithms and for modeling human problem
solving. A production system provides pattern-directed control of a problem-solving process and
consists of a set of production rules, a working memory, and a recognize–act control cycle.
A production system may be defined:
The set of production rules. These are often simply called productions. A production is a
action pair and defines a single chunk of problem-solving knowledge. Both the
condition part and the goal part of each rule is a pattern that determines when that rule may
be applied to a problem instance.
Working memory contains a description of the current state of the world in a reasoning process.
This description is a pattern that, in data-driven reasoning is matched against the condition
part of the set of productions to select appropriate problem-solving actions and in goal-
driven reasoning is matched against the current goal or sub-goal being explored.
The recognize–act cycle. The control structure for a production system is simple: working
memory is initialized with the beginning and goal problem descriptions. The current state of
the problem-solving is maintained as a set of patterns in working memory. These patterns are
matched against the conditions or actions of the production rules; this produces a subset of
the production rules, called the conflict set, whose conditions (or goals) match the patterns in
working memory. After a selected production rule is fired, the control cycle repeats with the
modified working memory. The process terminates when the contents of working memory
do not match any rules or the problem is solved.
Conflict resolution is a set of heuristics that is used to choose a rule from the conflict set for
User interface
may employ:
Question and
language, or
Interface engine
Case-specific data
General knowledge
Figure 1.1 Architecture of a typical expert system for a particular problem domain,
adapted from Luger (2005).
firing. Conflict resolution strategies may be simple, such as selecting the first rule whose
condition or action matches the state of the world, or may involve complex rule selection
heuristics (Luger 2005, Chapter 6; Forgy 1982).
The architecture of rule-based expert systems may be best understood in terms of the
production system model for problem solving. The parallel between the two is more than an
analogy: the production system was the intellectual precursor of modern expert system
architectures, where application of production rules leads to refinements of understanding of a
particular problem situation. When Newell and Simon first developed the production system,
their goal was to model human performance in problem solving (Newell and Simon 1976).
If we regard the expert system architecture in Figure 1.2 as a production system, the
domain-specific knowledge base is the set of production rules. In a rule-based system, these
condition action pairs are represented as if ... then... rules, with the premises of the rules, the if
portion, corresponding to the condition, and the conclusion, the then portion, corresponding to
the action, In data-driven reasoning, when the condition is satisfied, the expert system takes the
action of asserting the conclusion as true. In goal-driven reasoning, the then portion of the rule
is matched to see what conditions (sub-goals) must be supported for the goal to be true. Case-
specific data can be kept in the working memory. The inference engine implements the
recognize-act cycle of the production system that may be either data-driven or goal-driven.
Many problem domains seem to lend themselves more naturally to forward search. In an
interpretation problem, for example, most of the data for the problem are initially given and it is
often difficult to formulate an hypotheses or goal. This suggests a forward reasoning process in
which the facts are placed in working memory, conditions of rules matching those facts are
matched, and the system searches for an interpretation.
In a goal-driven expert system, the goal expression is initially placed in working
memory. The system matches rule conclusions with the goal, selecting one rule and placing its
premises in the working memory. This corresponds to a decomposition of the problem’s goal
into simpler sub-goals. The process continues in the next iteration of the production system,
with these sub-goals becoming the new goals to match against rule conclusions. The system
C1 A1
C2 A2
C3 A3
Pattern Action
Cn An
Figure 1.2 A production system. Control loops until working memory pattern no
longer matches the conditions of any productions, adapted from Luger (2005).
thus works back from the original goal until all the sub-goals in working memory are known to
be true, indicating that the hypothesis has been verified. Thus, backward search in an expert
system corresponds roughly to the process of hypothesis testing in human problem solving,
In an expert system, sub-goals can be solved (when the production rules offer no
matches) by asking the system’s user for information. Further, some expert systems allow the
designer to specify which sub-goals are to be solved by asking the user. Others simply ask the
user about any sub-goals that fail to match rules in the knowledge base; i.e., if the program
cannot infer the truth of a sub-goal, it asks the user.
Section 2: Knowledge-Based Reasoning in Conditions of Uncertainty
We next present the technology supporting uncertain reasoning in expert systems. Although a
few early systems used Bayesian approaches these by and large proved unsuitable to the task.
We discuss these issues and then present a popular alternative, the Stanford certainty factor
2.1 A Brief Introduction to the Bayesian Approach
To this point in our presentation we have ignored an important component of expert system
work. That is, in many applications the if… then… rules of the system are NOT always certain
“if and only if” or cause/effect relationships. That is, many of the rules express “usually”, “it is
likely that”, “often”, or “sometimes” relations between their conditions and the actions.
This is not always the case, of course. The rules in many expert systems express direct
cause and effect; for example, in software to configure a computer hardware system there will
be no uncertainty as to whether a certain disk and bus can be linked. Furthermore, in working
with algebraic expert systems there is no uncertainty involved in relationships, for example,
between a function and its derivative.
Most expert systems, however, especially those reasoning from effects back to causes, do
have some uncertainty in their condition action relationships. Medical systems, and MYCIN is
certainly the prototype (Buchanan and Shortliff 1984) of this genre, reason from patient’s
symptoms back to possible causes (explanations) for these symptoms. In fact, the vast majority
of diagnostic expert systems reason back from the facts of situations to their probable causes.
The vast majority of these relationships are inherently uncertain!
A further issue that impacts uncertain reasoning is the vagueness and lack of clarity that
is often found in data sets. When a rule asks if a patient’s temperature is “high” what precisely
does that mean? Even if the rule is rewritten using a range of explicit temperatures, certainly
some will be “higher” than others. There will also be some variation within the testing devices
that are used to obtain patient’s temperatures. Finally, in many diagnostic situations key pieces
of data may in fact be missing. In all these situations, the expert system must still track what
information it has and attempt to come up with the best possible explanation.
Bayes’ theorem (1763) is a mathematically sound methodology for interpreting uncertain
relationships, such as those just mentioned. Further, Bayes’ equation relates the a priori (what
we know about and/or have been trained to “see”) with the a posteriori (what we are currently
observing). We will not describe Bayes’ work in detail here – this has been done adequately in
other places in this handbook. Although Bayes’ theorem is often seen as natural for expert
system work, and several systems have used it, most famously PROSPECTOR (Duda et al.
1979), we make the larger point that Bayes’ theorem is NOT used in the development of the
vast majority of expert systems. We then describe the most common alternative for uncertain
reasoning in expert systems, the Stanford Certainty Factor Algebra.
There are several major reasons for not using Bayes’ theorem to address the uncertainty
requirements in rule based expert systems. The first reason, is the task of collecting all the
necessary probability measures. This is especially difficult because most expert systems are
dynamic: if the designer wants to add new “knowledge” to the system, she simply adds one or
more new production rules. This, of course, requires the strict Bayesian to readjust many of the
probability measures already in the system to accommodate this new situation. Second, many
of the uncertainties of the knowledge-based system are not probabilistic and/or difficult to
assign an appropriate probability measure. Finally, we must assume in our application domain
that the pieces of evidence for a particular hypothesis are independent. In many important
problem domains this assumption of independence cannot be justified.
It is interesting to note, however, that many situations that violate this assumption (that
the individual pieces of evidence partition the evidence set) behave quite well! Using this
partition assumption, even in situations where it is not justified, is called using naive Bayes or a
Bayes classifier (Luger 2005, Chapter 5).
In general, we use Bayes’ theorem to determine the probability of some hypothesis hi
given a set of evidence E, or p(hi | E). In this situation, Bayes requires that we obtain the values
of p(E | hi) and p(hi). These numbers are often much more easily obtainable, compared to
obtaining the values for p(hi | E) directly. For example, because the population is smaller, it is
much easier to determine the number of meningitis patients who have headaches than it is to
determine the percentage of headache sufferers that have meningitis. Even more importantly,
for the simple case of a single disease and a single symptom, not very many numbers are
needed. Troubles begin, however, when we consider multiple hypothesized diseases hi from the
domain of diseases H and multiple symptoms en from the set E of possible symptoms. When
we consider each disease from m hypotheses H and each symptom from n pieces of evidence
from E singly, we have m x n measures to collect and integrate. (Actually m x n posterior
probabilities plus m + n prior probabilities.)
Unfortunately, our analysis is about to get much more complex. To this point, we
considered each symptom ei individually. In actual situations, single symptoms are rarely the
case. When a doctor is considering a patient, for instance, there are often many combinations of
symptoms she must consider. We require a form of Bayes’ theorem to consider any single
hypothesis hi in the context of the union of multiple symptoms ei.
p(hi|(e1 U e2 U ... U en)) = (p(hi) p((e1 U e2 U ... U en)|hi)) / p(e1 U e2 U ... U en)
The term p(e1 U e2 U ... U en) does not affect the conditional probability on the left
hand side of the above equation. It is simply a normalizing constant and we can eliminate it
from our calculations. With one disease and a single symptom we needed only m x n
measurements. Now, for every pair of symptoms ei and ej and a particular disease hypothesis hi,
we need know p(ei U ej | hi). There will be n such observations, when there are n symptoms in
E. Now, if we want to use Bayes, there will be about m x n (conditional probabilities) + n
(symptom probabilities) + m (disease probabilities) or about m x n + n + m pieces of
information to collect. This number can become very large in realistic medical systems.
In many diagnostic situations, we must also deal with negative information, e.g., when a
patient does not have a symptom such as bad blood pressure. We require both:
not( p(ei) ) = 1 - p(ei) and not( p(hi | ei) ) = 1 - p(hi | ei).
We also note that p(ei | hi) and p(hi | ei) are not the same and will almost always have different
values. These relationships, and the avoidance of circular reasoning, is important for the design
of Bayesian belief networks.
A final problem, noted briefly earlier, is the need to rebuild probability measures when
new relationships between hypotheses and evidence sets are discovered. In many active
research areas such as medicine, new discoveries happen continuously. Bayesian reasoning
requires complete and up-to-date probabilities, including joint probabilities, if its conclusions
are to be correct. Such extensive data collection and verification may be expensive.
Where these assumptions are met, however, Bayesian approaches offer the
benefit of a mathematically well-founded handling of uncertainty. Most expert system
domains do not meet these requirements and must rely on heuristic approaches, such as
Stanford certainty theory, presented next. Furthermore, due to complexity issues, we
know that even fairly powerful computers cannot use full Bayesian techniques for
successful real-time problem solving.
2.2 An Alternative to Bayes: The Stanford Certainty Factor Algebra
Stanford certainty theory, a calculus for subjective probability measures, is based on a number
of observations. The first is that in traditional probability theory, the sum of the probability for
a relationship and probability against the same relationship must add to one. However, it is
often the case that a human expert might have “confidence” 0.7 (say) that some relationship is
true and have no feeling at all of it being not true. A further assumption that underpins certainty
theory is that the knowledge content of the rules is much more important than the algebra for
computing the confidences. Confidence measures correspond to the informal evaluations that
human experts attach to their conclusions, such as “it is probably true”, “it is almost certainly
true”, or “it is highly unlikely”. Furthermore, they make absolutely no claims about a statistics
based relationship between the condition of a rule and its corresponding action!
The Stanford certainty theory makes some simple assumptions for creating confidence
measures and has some equally simple rules for combining these confidences as the program
moves toward its conclusion. The first assumption is to split “confidence for” from “confidence
against” a relationship:
Call MB(H | E) the measure of belief of a hypothesis H given evidence E.
Call MD(H | E) the measure of disbelief of a hypothesis H given evidence E.
Now either:
1 > MB(H | E) > 0 while MD(H | E) = 0, or
1 > MD(H | E) > 0 while MB(H | E) = 0.
These two measures constrain each other in that a given piece of evidence is either for or
against a particular hypothesis, an important difference between certainty theory and
probability theory. Once the link between measures of belief and disbelief has been established,
they may be tied together again, by:
CF(H | E) = MB(H | E) - MD(H | E).
As the certainty factor (CF) approaches 1, the evidence is stronger for a hypothesis; as
CF approaches -1, the confidence against the hypothesis gets stronger; and a CF around 0
indicates that either little evidence exists for or against the hypothesis or that the evidence for
and against the hypothesis is balanced.
When experts put together a rule base, they must agree on a CF to go with each rule.
This CF reflects their confidence in the rule’s reliability. Certainty measures may be adjusted to
tune the system’s performance, although slight variations in the confidence measure tend to
have little effect on the overall running of the system. This second role of certainty measures
confirms the belief that “the knowledge gives the power,” that is, the integrity of the knowledge
itself best supports the production of correct diagnoses.
Because the architecture for expert systems is a production system, the premises for each
rule are formed of ands and ors of a number of facts. When a production rule is used, the
certainty factors associated with each condition of the premise are combined to produce a
certainty measure for the overall premise as follows. For P1 and P2 premises of the rule:
CF(P1 and P2) = MIN(CF(P1), CF(P2)), and
CF(P1 or P2) = MAX(CF(P1), CF(P2)).
The combined CF of the premises, using the above rules, is then multiplied by the CF of
the rule itself to get the CF for the conclusions of the rule. For example, consider the rule in a
knowledge base:
(P1 and P2) or P3 R1 (.7) and R2 (.3)
where P1, P2, and P3 are premises and R1 and R2 are the conclusions of the rule, having CFs
0.7 and 0.3, respectively. These numbers are attached to the rule when it is designed and
represent the expert’s confidence in the conclusion if all the premises are known with complete
certainty. If the running program has produced P1, P2, and P3 with CFs of 0.6, 0.4, and 0.2,
respectively, then R1 and R2 may be added to the collected case-specific results with CFs 0.28
and 0.12, respectively. Here are the calculations for this example:
CF(P1(0.6) and P2(0.4)) = MIN(0.6,0.4) = 0.4.
CF((0.4) or P3(0.2)) = MAX(0.4,0.2) = 0.4.
The CF for R1 is 0.7 in the rule, so R1 is added to the set of case-specific knowledge
with the associated CF of (0.7) x (0.4) = 0.28. The CF for R2 is 0.3 in the rule, so R2 is added
to the set of case-specific knowledge with the associated CF of (0.3) x (0.4) = 0.12.
One further measure is required: how to combine multiple CFs when two or more rules
support the same result R. This rule reflects the certainty theory analog of the probability theory
procedure of multiplying probability measures to combine independent evidence. By using this
rule repeatedly one can combine the results of any number of rules that are used for
determining a result R. Suppose CF(R1) is the present certainty factor associated with result R
and a previously unused rule produces result R (again) with CF(R2); then the new CF of R is
calculated by:
CF(R1) + CF(R2) - (CF(R1) x CF(R2)) when CF(R1) and CF(R2) are positive,
CF(R1) + CF(R2) + (CF(R1) x CF(R2)) when CF(R1) and CF(R2) are negative,
and (CF(R1) + CF(R2)) / (1 – MIN (| CF(R1) |) , | CF(R2) |) otherwise, where | X |
is the absolute value of X and MIN (a , b) means the minimum value of a or b.
Besides being easy to compute, these combination equations have other desirable
properties. First, the CFs that result from applying this rule are always between 1 and -1.
Second, the result of combining contradictory CFs is that they cancel each other, as is desired.
Finally, the combined CF measure is a monotonically increasing (decreasing) function in the
manner one would expect for combining evidence.
Finally, the confidence measures of the Stanford certainty factor tradition are a human
(subjective) estimate of symptom/cause probability measures. As noted in Section 2.1, in the
Bayesian tradition if A, B, and C all influence D, we need to isolate and appropriately combine
all the prior and posterior probabilities, including P(D), P(D|A), P(D|B), P(D|C), P(A|D),
when we want to reason about D. The Stanford certainty factor tradition allows the knowledge
engineer to wrap all these relationships together into one confidence factor, CF, attached to the
rule; that is, if A and B and C then D (CF). It is felt that this simple algebra better reflects
how human experts combine and propagate multiple sets of beliefs.
Certainty theory may be criticized as being excessively ad hoc. Although it is defined in
a formal algebra, the meaning of the certainty measures is not as rigorously founded as is
formal probability theory. However, certainty theory does not attempt to produce an algebra for
“correct” reasoning. Rather it is the “lubrication” that lets the expert system combine
confidences as it moves along through the problem at hand. Its measures are ad hoc in the same
sense that a human expert’s confidence in his or her results is approximate, heuristic, and
informal. When MYCIN is run, for example, the CFs are used in the heuristic search to give a
priority for goals to be attempted and a cutoff point when a goal need not be considered further.
But even though the CF is used to keep the program running and collecting information, the
power of the program remains invested in the quality of the rules.
Section 3: Graphical Models for Uncertain Reasoning
In most of AI the primary inference mechanism in stochastic domains is some form of Bayes’
rule. As we noted in Section 2.1, however, the full use of Bayesian inference in complex
domains quickly becomes intractable. In the following sections we present several inference
techniques specifically designed to address this complexity; these include Bayesian belief
networks (BBNs), Markov models, and hidden Markov models (HMMs).
3.1 The Bayesian Belief Network
The two preceding sections describe the origins of and software architecture for the rule-based
expert system. It is not the purpose of this present chapter to critique the “expert system
experiment” in the context of software applications. It is sufficient to mention that in many
situations, especially where the problem domain was well understood, the expert system
technology proved successful. In many of these situations, once a solution was achieved, the
expert system technology simply morphed into the larger suite of successful software systems.
Where problems were imprecise, ill defined, and ambiguous, however the expert system
approach could prove both brittle and cumbersome. This is because the semantics (basic
meaning entailed) through use of expert systems technology is rather weak if it exists at all. For
example, the expert system designed to help sick people simply does not understand sick
people. In summary, where the technology fit it worked well, in other contexts it was often
Although Bayesian probability theory, as discussed in Section 2.1, offers a mathematical
foundation for reasoning under uncertain conditions, the complexity encountered in applying it
to realistic problem domains can be quite prohibitive. Fortunately, we can often prune this
complexity by focusing search on a smaller set of more highly relevant events and evidence.
One approach, Bayesian belief networks (Pearl 1988), offers a computational model for
reasoning to the best explanation of a set of data in the context of the expected causal
relationships of a problem domain.
Bayesian belief networks (BBNs) can dramatically reduce the number of parameters of
the full Bayesian model and show how the data of a domain (or even the absence of data) can
partition and focus reasoning. Furthermore, the modularity of a problem domain often allows
the program designer to make many independence assumptions not allowed in a full Bayesian
treatment. In most reasoning situations, it is not necessary to build a large joint probability table
in which the probabilities for all possible combinations of events and evidence are listed.
Rather, human experts seem to select the local phenomena that they know will interact and
obtain probability or influence measures that reflect only these clusters of events. Experts
assume all other events are either conditionally independent or that their correlations are so
small that they may be ignored.
As an example Bayesian belief network, consider the traffic problem presented in Figure
3.1. Suppose that you are driving an automobile in rural New Mexico. Suddenly you begin to
slow down with the traffic. You begin to wonder what the traffic problem might be. Because
you have driven quite a bit in rural New Mexico you have a set of prior expectations for bad
traffic, related mainly to highway construction and traffic accidents. Thus, our Bayesian Belief
net representation of these prior expectations are reflected in Figure 3.1, where road
construction is C, an accident is A, the presence of orange barrels is B, bad traffic is T, and
flashing lights is L. To calculate the joint probability of all the parameters of the example
required knowledge or measurements for all parameters being in particular states. Thus, the
joint probability is:
p(C,A,B,T,L) = p(C) x p(A|C) x p(B|C,A) x p(T|C,A,B) x p(L|C,A,B,T)
The number of parameters in this joint probability is 31. This table is exponential in the number
of variables involved. For a problem of any complexity, say with thirty or more variables, the
joint distribution table would have more than a billion elements (see discussion in Section 2.1).
Note, however, that if we can support the assumption that the parameters of this problem are
only dependent on the probabilities of their parents, that is, we can assume that nodes are
independent of all non-descendents, given knowledge of their parents, the calculation of
p(C,A,B,T,L) becomes:
p(C,A,B,T,L) = p(C) x p(A) x p(B|C) x p(T|C,A) x p(L|A)
To better see the simplifications we have made, consider p(B|C,A) from the previous
equation. We have reduced this to p(B|C) in our most recent equation. This is based on the
assumption that road construction is not a causal effect of there being an accident. Similarly,
the presence of orange barrels is not a cause of bad traffic, but construction and accident are,
giving as a result p(T|C,A) rather than p(T|C,A,B). Finally, p(L|C,A,B,T) is reduced to p(L|A)!
The probability distribution for p(C,A,B,T,L) now has only 20 (rather than 32) parameters. And
if we move to a more realistic problem, with 30 variables say, and if each state has at most two
parents, there will be at most 240 elements in the distribution. If each state has three parents,
the maximum is 490 elements in the distribution: considerably less than the exponentially large
number required for the full Bayesian approach!
We need to justify this dependence of a node in a belief network on its parents alone.
Links between the nodes of a belief network represent the conditioned probabilities for causal
influence. Implicit in expert reasoning using causal inference is the assumption that these
influences are directed, that is, the presence of some event somehow causes other events in the
network. Further, causal influence reasoning is not circular in that some effect cannot circle
Construction Accident
Orange Barrels Bad Traffic Flashing Lights
Figure 3.1 The graphical model for the traffic problem, adapted from
Luger (2005).
back to cause itself. For these reasons, Bayesian belief networks will have a natural
representation as a directed acyclic graph or DAG (Luger 2005, Section 3.1), where coherent
patterns of reasoning are reflected as paths through cause/effect relationships. Bayesian belief
networks are one instance of what are often called graphical models.
In the case of our traffic example we have an even stronger situation that allows us to
calculate very simply the probability distribution at every node. The distributions of nodes
having no parents are directly looked up. The values of child nodes are computed using only
the probability distributions of each child’s parents by doing the appropriate computations on
the child’s conditional probability table and the parent’s distributions. This is possible because
we don’t have to worry about relationship between the parents of any node (since the network
is given as a directed and acyclic graph). This produces a natural abductive separation where
accident has no correlation at all with the presence of orange barrels, as is seen in Figure 1.7.
We summarize our discussion of BBNs and the traffic example with the following definition.
A Bayesian belief network may be defined:
A graphical model is called a Bayesian belief network (BBN) if its graph, annotated with
conditional probabilities, is directed and acyclic. Furthermore, BBNs assume nodes are
independent of all their non-descendents, given knowledge of their parents.
A dynamic Bayesian network (DBN) is a sequence of identical Bayesian networks whose nodes
are linked in the (directed) dimension of time. We consider the general DBM briefly in
Section 4.1; for further details see Friedman (1998) or Ghahramani and Jordan (1997).
3.2 Inference with a Bayesian Belief Network
We refer again and extend the Bayesian belief net example of Section 3.1. Again, suppose you
are driving the interstate highway system and realize you are gradually slowing down because
of increased traffic congestion. You begin to search for possible explanations of the slowdown.
Could it be road construction? Has there been an accident? Perhaps there are other possible
explanations. After a few minutes you come across orange barrels at the side of the road that
begin to cut off the outside lane of traffic. At this point you determine that the best explanation
of the traffic congestion is most likely road construction. At the same time the alternative
hypothesis of an accident is explained away. Similarly if, you would have seen flashing lights
in the distance ahead, such as those from a police vehicle or an ambulance, the best explanation
for traffic slowdown, given this new evidence, would be a traffic accident and road construction
would have been explained away. When a hypothesis is explained away that does not mean that
it is no longer possible. Rather, in the context of new evidence, it is simply less likely.
Figure 3.1 presented a Bayesian network account of what we have just seen. Road
construction is correlated with orange barrels and bad traffic. Similarly, accident correlates
with flashing lights and bad traffic. We next examine Figure 3.1 and build a joint probability
distribution for the road construction and bad traffic relationship. We simplify both of these
variables to be either true (t) or false (f) and represent the probability distribution in Figure 3.2.
Note that if construction is f there is not likely to be bad traffic and if it is t then bad traffic is
likely. Note also that the probability of road construction on the interstate, C = true, is 0.8 and
the probability of having bad traffic, T = true, is 0.78.
We next consider the change in the probability of road construction given the fact that
we have experienced bad traffic, or p(C|T) or p(C = t | T = t). The following equation reflects
the new probability, where the numerator is the outcome we have (C = t and T = t) and the
denominator reflects all possible outcomes for this situation (the sum of C = t and T = t plus C
= f and T = t):
p(C|T) = p(C = t , T = t) / (p(C = t , T = t) + p(C = f , T = t)) = 0.72 / (0.72 + 0.06)
= 0.923
So now, with the normal probability of road construction being 0.8, given that there actually
is bad traffic, the probability for road construction goes up to 0.923!
Consider the expanded probability distribution table of Figure 3.3. This is an extension of
Figure 3.2 as the probabilities of Figure 3.2 remain the same for all values of C and T in Figure
3.3. We now want to determine the new probability for construction C given that we are
experiencing bad traffic T and see yellow barrels, B.
p(C|T,B) = p(C = t , T = t, B = t) / (p(C = t , T = t, B = t) + p(C = f , T = t, B = t))
= 0.576 /
(0.576 + 0.012) = 0.98
This new calculation of p(C|T,B) shows that the traffic slowdown plus the presence of
yellow traffic control barrels makes the new probability of construction even higher! This is the
insight supporting the Bayesian belief net technology. The priors of the situation represent our
ongoing expectations of the “state of the world”. When new information appears, such as the
yellow traffic control barrels, then our current expectations for the “state of the world” change.
Bayesian inference captures these changing expectations quite naturally.
The next example, adapted from Pearl (1988), shows a more complex Bayesian network.
t t 0.72
t f 0.08
f t 0.06
f f 0.14
t t t 0.576
t t f 0.144
t f t 0.064
t f f 0.016
f t t 0.012
f t f 0.048
f f t 0.028
f f f 0.112
Figure 3.2 The joint probability distribution for the traffic and the construction
variables of 3.1.
Figure 3.3 The probability measure for Construction, Traffic and Barrels. Note
the result on Construction from marginalizing across the situations where T = t
and B = t.
C is true = 0.80 T is true = 0.78
In Figure 3.4, the season of the year determines the probability of rain as well as the probability
of water from a sprinkler system. The wet sidewalk will be correlated with rain or water from
the sprinkler. Finally, the sidewalk will be slick depending on whether or not it is a wet
sidewalk. In the figure we have expressed the probability relationship that each of these
parameters has with its parents. Note also that, as compared with the traffic example, the
slippery sidewalk example has an undirected cycle (a cycle in the underlying undirected graph).
We can now ask the question, how can the probability of wet sidewalk, p(WS), be
described? It can’t be done as previously, where p(W) is equal to p(W|S) * p(S) or p(R) is
equal to p(R|S) * p(S). The two causes of WS are not independent given S; for example, if S
is summer, then p(W) and p(R) could both go up. Thus the complete conditional probabilities
of the two variables, along with their further relation to S, must be calculated. In this situation
we can do it, but as we will see, this calculation is exponential in the number of possible causes
of WS. The calculation is represented in Figure 3.5, where we calculate one entry in that table,
p(WS) where R and W are both true. To make life simpler we assume the season S is either
hot or cold.
p(WS) = p( R = t, W = t) for all conditions of S, season
= p( S = hot) * p( R = t | S = hot) * p( W = t | S = hot) +
p( S = cold) * p( R = t | S = cold) * p( W = t | S = cold)
In a similar fashion the remainder of Figure 3.5 can be completed. This makes up the
joint probability for rain and water from sprinkler. This larger “macro element” represents
p(WS) = p(WS | R,W) * p(R,W). We have gotten away with a rather reasonable calculation,
the problem is that this calculation is exponential in the number of parents of the state.
SL Slick sidewalk
Wet sidewalk
Rain P(W|S) Water(sprinkler)
Figure 3.4 An example of a Bayesian probabilistic network, where the
probability dependencies are located next to each node. This example is from
Pearl (1988).
t t
t f
f t
f f
p(WS) S = hot
S = cold
We call this macro element the combined variable, or clique, for the calculation of
p(WS). We employ this concept of a clique in order to replace the constraint propagation of the
DAG of Figure 3.4 with an acyclic clique tree, as seen in Figure 3.6. The rectangular boxes of
Figure 3.6a reflect the variables that the cliques above and below it share. The table that passes
the relevant parameters through to the next clique is exponential in the number of these
parameters. It should also be noted that a linking variable along with all its parents must be
present in the clique. Thus, in setting up a belief network or other graphical model (the
knowledge engineering process), we ought to be careful how many variables are parents of any
state. The cliques will also overlap, as seen in Figure 3.6b, to pass information through the full
tree of cliques, called the junction tree. We next present a algorithm developed by Lauritzen
and Spiegelhalter (1988) that creates a junction tree from any Bayesian belief network.
1. For all nodes in the belief network make all directed links undirected.
2. For any node draw links between all its parents (the dashed line between R and W in
Figure 3.6b).
3. Look for any cycle in the resulting graph of length more than three and add further
links that reduce that cycle to three. This process is called triangulation and is not
necessary in the example of Figure 3.6b.
4. Create the junction tree from the triangulated structure of step 3 by finding the
maximal cliques (cliques that are complete subgraphs and not subgraphs of a larger
clique). The variables in these cliques are put into junctions and the junction tree is
created by connecting any two junctions that share at least one variable, as in Figure
The triangulation process described in step 3 above is critical, as we want the resulting
junction tree to have minimal computational cost when propagating information. Unfortunately,
this decision of designing optimal cost junction trees is NP hard. Often, fortunately, a simple
greedy algorithm can be sufficient for producing useful results. Note that the sizes of the tables
required to convey information across the junction tree of Figure 3.6 are 2*2*2, 2*2*2, and
A final comment: Bayesian belief networks seem to reflect how humans reason in
complex domains where some factors are known and related a priori to others. As reasoning
proceeds by progressive instantiation of information, search is further restricted, and as a result,
more efficient. This search efficiency stands in strong contrast to the approach supported by
using a full joint distribution, where more information requires an exponentially larger need for
statistical relations and a resulting broader search.
Many algorithms exist for building belief networks and propagating arguments as new
evidence is acquired. We recommend especially Pearl’s (1988) message passing approach and
the clique tree triangulation method proposed by Lauritzen and Spiegelhalter (1988). Druzdel
and Henrion (1993) have also proposed algorithms for propagating influence in a network.
Dechter (1996) presents the bucket elimination algorithm as a unifying framework for
Figure 3.5 The probability distribution for p(WS), a function of p(W) and p(R),
given the effect of S. We calculate the effect when R = t and W = t.
probabilistic inference.
Section 4: Expert Systems and Graphical Models: The Continuing Story
This chapter has summarized the evolution of expert systems and graphical models over the last
several decades. Our goal has been to give a top-down description of this technology and to
describe, without overwhelming detail, the key features of both its evolution and use. We
conclude our presentation by giving short introductions to several other technologies that have
come to extend and sometimes replace the traditional expert system. These include Markov
models, hidden Markov models, and dynamic Bayesian networks.
4.1 Diagnostic and Prognostic Reasoning with Graphical Models
Figure 4.1 presents a Markov state machine (sometimes called a Markov chain) with four
distinct states. This general class of systems may be described at any time as being in one of a
set of n distinct states, s1, s2, s3, ... , sn. The system undergoes changes of state, with the
possibility of it remaining in the same state, at regular discrete time intervals. We describe the
ordered set of times t that are associated with the discrete intervals as t1, t2, t3, ... , tn. The
system changes state according to the distribution of probabilities associated with each state.
We denote the actual state of the machine at time t as st.
S, R, W
R, W, WS
R, W
a. b.
Figure 3.6 A junction tree (a) for the Bayesian probabilistic network of
(b). Note that we started to construct the transition table for the rectangle
R, W, adapted from Luger (2005).
A full probabilistic description of this system requires, in the general case, the
specification of the present state st, in terms of all its predecessor states. Thus, the probability
of the system being in any particular state st is:
p(st) = p(st | st - 1, st - 2, st - 3, ...)
where the st - 1 are the predecessor states of st. In a first-order Markov chain, the probability of
the present state is a function only of its direct predecessor state:
p(st) = p(st | st - 1 )
where st - 1 is the predecessor of st. We next assume that the right side of this equation is time
invariant, that is, we hypothesize that across all time periods of the system, the transitions
between specific states retain the same probabilistic relationships.
Based on these assumptions, we now can create a set of state transition probabilities aij
between any two states si and sj as follows:
aij = p(st = si | st - 1 = sj), 1 ≥ i, j ≥ N
Note that i can equal j, in which case the system remains in the same state. The traditional
constraints remain on these probability distributions; for each state si:
aij ≥ 0, and for all j, Σ aij = 1
i = 1
The system we have just described is called a first-order observable Markov model since
the output of the system is the set of states at each discrete time interval, and each state of the
Figure 4.1 A Markov state machine or Markov chain with four states, S1, S2, S3
and S4.
system corresponds to a physical (observable) event. We make the observable Markov model
more formal with a definition (as follows) and then give an example.
An (observable) Markov model may be defined:
A graphical model is called an (observable) Markov model if its graph is directed and the
probability of arriving at any state st from the set of states S at a discrete time t is a
function of the probability distributions of its being in previous states of S at previous
times. Each state st of S corresponds to a physically observable situation.
An observable Markov model is first-order if the probability of it being in the present state st at
any time t is a function only of its being in the previous state st - 1 at the time t - 1, where st
and st - 1 belong to the set of observable states S.
As an example of an observable first-order Markov model, consider the weather at noon,
say, for a particular location. We assume this location has four different discrete states for the
variable weather: s1 = sun, s2 = cloudy, s3 = fog, s4 = precipitation. We assume that the
time intervals for the Markov model will be noon each consecutive day. We also assume the
transition probabilitiess between the states of weather remain constant across time (not true for
most locations!), and that the observable, weather, can remain in the same state over multiple
days. This situation is represented by Figure 4.1, and is supported by the matrix of state
transitions aij:
s1 s2 s3 s4
s1 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1
aij = s2 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.3
s3 0.1 0.3 0.3 0.3
s4 0.2 0.3 0.3 0.2
In this aij transition matrix the first row represents the transition probabilities from s1 to
each of the states, including staying in the same state; the second row is the transition
probabilities from s2 to each of the states, and so on. Note that the properties required for the
transition probabilities to be probability distributions from each state are met (they sum to 1.0).
We now can ask questions of our model. Suppose that today, s1, is sun; what is the
probability of the next five days remaining sun? Or again, what is the probability of the next
five days being sun, sun, cloudy, cloudy, precipitation? We solve this second problem. We wish
to determine the probability of observing, given our model, the set of states, where the first day,
s1, is today’s observed sunshine:
O = s1, s1, s1, s2, s2, s4
The probability of this sequence of observed states, given the first-order Markov model, M, is:
p(O | M) = p(s1, s1, s1, s2, s2, s4 | M)
= p(s1) x p(s1 | s1) x p(s1 | s1) x p(s2 | s1) x p(s2 | s2) x p(s4 | s2)
= 1 x a11 x a11 x a12 x a22 x a24
= 1 x (.4) x (.4) x (.3) x (.3) x (.3)
= .00432
This equation follows from the assumptions of the first-order Markov model. Thus the state of
weather for each day is a function (only) of the weather the day before and we observed the fact
that today is sunshine.
We can extend this example to determine, given that we know today’s weather, the
probability that the weather will be the same for exactly the next t days, i.e., that the weather
remains the same until the t + 1 day at which time it is different. For any weather state si, and
Markov model M, we have the observation O:
O = { si, si, si, ... , si, sj}, where there are exactly (t + 1) si, and where si does not
equal sj, then:
p(O | M) = 1 x aii
t x (1 - aii)
where aii is the transition probability of taking state si to itself. This value is called the discrete
probability density function for the duration of t time periods in state si of model M. This
duration density function is indicative of the state duration in a Markov model. Based on this
value we can calculate, within model M, the expected number of observations of, or duration di
within any state si, given that the first observation is in that state:
di = Σd x aii(t – 1) x (1aii) where n approaches infinity, or:
d = 1
= _1
1 - aii
For example, the expected number of consecutive precipitation days, given this model M, is
1/(1 - .3) or 1.43. Similarly, the number of consecutive sunny days one might expect is 1.67.
We next consider Markov models whose states are not observable events, that is, they are
themselves probabilistic functions of the state. In the Markov models we have seen to this
point, each state corresponded to a discrete physical - or observable - event, such as the value of
weather at a certain time of day. This class of models is really fairly limited and we now
generalize it to a wider class of problems. In this section we extend Markov models to the
situations where the observations are themselves probabilistic functions of a current hidden
state. This resulting model, called a hidden Markov model (HMM), is a doubly embedded
stochastic process.
The HMM is an observable stochastic process masking a further non-observable, or
hidden, stochastic process. An example of a HMM would be to determine a phoneme (an
atomic unit of voiced speech) through the interpretation of noisy acoustic signals. The phone
patterns themselves, that is, which phonemes are more likely to follow others in the particular
words of a language, make up the hidden level of the Markov model. The observations, i.e., the
noisy acoustic signals, are a stochastic function of these phonemes. The phoneme level of the
model cannot be “seen” except though the top level stream of acoustic signals.
A hidden Markov model may be defined as follows:
A graphical model is called a hidden Markov model (HMM) if it is a Markov model whose
states are not directly observable but are “hidden” by a further stochastic system
interpreting their output. More formally, given a set of states S = s1, s2, …, sn, and given a
set of state transition probabilities A = a11, a12, ..., a1n, a21, a22, ..., ..., ann, there is a set
of observation likelihoods, O = pi(ot), each expressing the probability of an observation ot
(at time t) being from a state i.
For example, consider the problem of N urns, each urn containing a collection of M
differently colored balls. The physical process of obtaining observations is, according to some
random process, to pick one of the N urns. Once an urn is selected a ball is removed and its
color is recorded in the observable output stream. The ball is then replaced and the random
process associated with the current urn selects the next (which might be the same) urn to
continue the process. This process generates an observable sequence consisting of a number of
colors (of the balls).
It is obvious that the simplest HMM corresponding to this ball selection process is the
model in which each state corresponds to a specific urn, the values of the transition matrix for
that state produce the next state choice, and in which the ball color probability is defined for
each state.
A second example of a HMM is taken from the authors own use of hidden models to
detect failures in helicopter rotor systems (Chakrabarti 2005). Suppose that we have three
hidden states intended to describe the current condition of the transmission of a helicopter. The
three states of the transmission are safe, questionable, and faulty. These states are hidden in the
sense that they are not directly observable by the human diagnostician except, of course,
when the helicopter is a pile of rubble on the ground! We would like to make a probabilistic
estimate of the state of the helicopter transmission without being able to directly observe it. We
do have lots of observable data for this system, however including the current temperatures of
certain components and the vibration measurements for others. See an example set of raw time
series data parameters in Figure 4.2. We first use a number of data processing tools (from
Mathlab), especially the Fast Fourier Transform to change the data to a time-frequency domain.
Correlation plots across time periods were then utilized to note radical changes in the sampled
data. These changes were used to determine the “hidden” states of the model already described
and presented in Figure 4.3.
Finally, this type model, monitoring changes of a system across time periods, can also be
seen as an instance of a dynamic Bayesian network. The dynamic Bayesian network approach
to diagnosis is represented by a sequence of Bayesian networks each of whose states are
mapped to themselves across time periods. That is, the changes of a system are described
through the changes of the particular states of the Bayesian network across time intervals. Thus,
the diagnosis of the state of the helicopter rotor system just described, Figure 4.3, may be seen
as the changes of the states of the network across time, for example going from safe to
questionable to faulted. For further details, see Chakrabarti (2005).
Figure 4.2 Raw time series data obtained from the sensors monitoring the
helicopter rotor system.
Figure 4.3 A probability distribution along the three states of the
helicopter rotor system: safe, unsafe and faulty.
4.2 Graphical Models: Some Thoughts about the Future
Finally, we mention some current research that is expanding the expressive flexibility of
Bayesian networks. Although there are many research institutions involved in this work world
wide, our primary reference will be to our own work, especially Luger (2005) and Pless et al.
First, it should be noted that the nodes of the traditional Bayesian belief networks are
propositional in nature. Being propositional they can only represent the likelihood that two
concrete individuals or situations can be related to each other according to some distribution.
We saw this with the road/traffic example of Section 3. It is often desired to extend the
Bayesian representation to prepositional or variable-based relationships. For example we might
wish to represent the fact that “all automobile transmissions” have specific failures (with a
distribution, of course). This requires a predicate calculus based representational scheme. A
number of research groups, including Pless et al (2006) and Kohler and Pfeffer (1998) are
currently building these (so called) first-order representations for graphical models.
A second extension to the traditional Bayesian graphical model is to make them fully
recursive and “Turing complete”, that is, powerful enough to compute any function that is
computable. This means that their inference scheme will be able to compute a broader range of
probabilistic outcomes. It also greatly broadens the types of models that may be computed – for
example dynamic Bayesian networks. The authors, (Pless et al. 2006), used exactly this
approach for diagnosing faults in helicopter transmission systems, as was presented in the
previous Section.
Finally, many research groups are attempting to do structured probabilistic model
induction. What this means is that component facts and rules that will make up possible models
of a problem domain can be stated in a declarative fashion (“This fact is true with distribution
P1”, “This rule relationship is true with distribution P2”, etc., etc.). Then the interpreter will
automatically construct the models most consistent with this set of current (a priori)
expectations and the current set of observable (a posteriori) facts. The general form of this
model induction task still remains outside of our current technology and inference schemes.
However, several research groups are addressing this challenge, including Getoor et al. (2001),
Segel et al. (2001), Cussens (2001), and Pless et al. (2006).
The research group at the University of New Mexico led by Professor George F. Luger, has
been investigating models for diagnostic and prognostic reasoning for the past two decades.
This research includes developing various forms of expert systems, Bayesian belief networks,
as well as various other forms of stochastic models. We are grateful to the National Science
Foundation, the Department of Energy (through Sandia and Los Alamos National
Laboratories), and the Department of Defense (through The US Air Force, and the US Navy,
and Management Sciences, Inc) for their support over these years. We are also in debt to the
various graduate students that have developed their research as part of our AI group at the
University of New Mexico. Finally, many of the ideas and figures of this chapter were adapted
from the first five editions of the book, Artificial Intelligence: Structures and Strategies for
Complex Problem Solving, whose first author is George Luger. We thank our publisher
Addison-Wesley and Pearson Education for their permission to use some of this material and
figures. More complete detail on the material of this chapter may be found in this AI book.
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... To address uncertainty in big data, the machine learning research community introduced probabilistic reasoning. Probabilistic reasoning uses probability theory with deductive logic to enable formal reasoning especially in varying conditions [6][7][8][9]. Probabilistic reasoning is also used to interpret complicated situations to make decision making easier [10][11][12]. ...
... This procedure is known as probabilistic inference [14]. Designing a probabilistic model is a vigorous task that requires extreme technical expertise in fields such as natural language, mathematics, algorithms [8,11,22]. Again, many real-life situations are too expensive to model [14,[23][24][25][26]. In response to these issues, probabilistic programming emerged through efforts from the machine learning and programming language communities [24,27]. ...
... "Bayes' theorem (1763) is a mathematically sound methodology for interpreting uncertain relationships. Further, Bayes' equation relates the a priori (what we know about and/or have been trained to "see") with the a posteriori (what we are currently observing) (Chakrabarti, 2011). This method continually adjusts the overall answer every time a new piece of evidence is introduced. ...
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Question answering (QA) aims to develop techniques that can answer many varieties of questions, from simple Factoids to complex subjective questions. The goal of QA is to find the best answer to a question, given the available data related to the question topic. The biggest problem for QA is to find appropriate answers to subjective questions, such as “Is belief A better than belief B?” It has been noted that “A number of question answering systems have been developed which are capable of carrying out the processing required to achieve high levels of accuracy. However, little work has been reported on techniques for quickly finding exact answers.”(Greenwood, 2005). The objective of this thesis is to understand the best way to find the best answer for subjective questions posed through online search, and put this process on the path to automation. This thesis investigates a number of techniques for performing QA, and suggests an overall process for conducting QA operations. This process consists of a number of phases, including: (1) Select Question, (2) Select Search Engine, (3) Execute Query, (4) Search Selected Websites for Evidence, (5) Process Evidence, And (6) Deliver Final Answer. Four questions were identified to test the suggested method: (1) “Should the federal government have bailed out companies like AIG in the financial crisis of 2008–2009?” (2) “Is solar energy better than wind energy as an alternative energy source?”(3)“Are arranged marriages happier than marriages for love?”, and (4)“ Is faster- than - light travel possible ? ” These questions Were searched using Google, and a list of websites was returned. Some of these websites could contain evidence pertinent to answering the questions, and some would not. The list of websites returned was generally very large, which made searching all of them infeasible. Thus, a set of websites to search had to be extracted from the original list. Once determined, the websites in this set were searched for evidence relating to the question. Some of the evidence discovered could be pointing to a “yes” answer to the question, some could be pointing to a “no” answer, and some could be neutral, not really indicating one way or another. Thus, any conflicting evidence had to be reconciled before a final answer to the question could be given. Once this was done, a final answer of “yes”, “no”, or “neutral” was returned, along with an indicator of how strongly the particular answer returned was favored. Using this process, the final answers returned were “yes” for questions one and three, “no” for question two, and “neutral” for question four. These results demonstrated the feasibility of the suggested process, and paved the way for automation of that process.
... Dabei könnten Wahrscheinlichkeitsdichten über die, die gültigen Entwürfe repräsentierenden, Teilmengen der mathematischen Entwürfsräume definiert werden, um im Voraus bekanntes Wis- sen über eine Entwurfsdomäne zu integrieren. Der Forschungsbericht [120] gibt einen Überblick über solcherlei stochastische Methoden zur Behandlung von Unsicherheiten im maschinellen Die Anbindung des in C++ implementierten CAD-Kernels OpenCascade [136] über JNI (Java Native Interface) hat sich als problematisch erwiesen, da die in OpenCascade originär imple- mentierte Speicherverwaltung mit der Java-eigenen Speicherbereinigung (Garbage Collection) in mehreren Fällen nichtdeterministisch kollidiert ist und so einer sofwaretechnisch tiefergehen- den Analyse bedarf. ...
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Die in den Industrie- und Schwellenländern gültige Emissionsgesetzgebung macht bei der Verwendung von Dieselmotoren eine außermotorische Abgasreinigung notwendig. Dies betrifft nicht nur Fahrzeuganwendungen auf der Straße, sondern auch Off-Highwayanwendungen wie Marine, Bahn und Industrie. SCR-Systeme (selective catalytic reduction systems) stellen in diesen Anwendungen die bevorzugte Technologie zur Stickoxidreduktion dar. SCR-Systeme sind robust gegenüber Kraftstoffen mit erhöhten Schwefelgehalten und erlauben es, den Basismotor auf höhere Stickoxidrohemissionen zu trimmen. Dies führt im Allgemeinen zu geringeren Kraftstoffverbräuchen und stellt damit ein Beitrag zur CO2-Reduktion dar. Die individuellen Einsatzprofile und geringen Stückzahlen in den Off-Highwayanwendungen erfordern einen besonders effizienten Entwurfsprozess der SCR-Systeme. Dieser kann mit Hilfe graphenbasierter Entwurfssprachen realisiert werden. Die wissensbasierte Entwurfsmethode der Entwurfssprachen stellt ein digitales, regelbasiert ausführbares Abbild des Entwurfsprozesses her. Das Entwurfswissen wird in Form von Regeln und Vokabeln abgelegt. Durch automatisierte Analyse- und Simulationsschleifen werden im Produktionssystem Entwurfsentscheidungen auf Basis objektiver Analyseergebnisse getroffen. Ausgehend von gegebenen Anforderungen (Emissionsziele, Motordaten, Bauraum, etc.) werden digitale Entwürfe von SCR-Systemen erzeugt und anhand regelbasiert generierter Simulationsmodelle (z.B. Strömungssimulation) validiert. Damit wird eine Beschleunigung des Entwurfsprozesses von SCR-Systemen um mehr als eine Größenordnung erreicht. Die dafür notwendigen CAD-Geometrien der verwendeten Rohrleitungen werden aus standardisierten Rohrbögen mit konstanten Bogenwinkeln und Radien erzeugt. Für die Synthese dieser Rohrstrecken wird ein Optimierungsalgorithmus (Simulated Annealing) eingesetzt. Dabei werden topologische Variationen mit Hilfe einer analytischen Konstruktionsvorschrift (Kegel-Kegel-Fasskreis-Konstruktion) dargestellt. Diese erlaubt einen schnellen und robusten Austausch einzelner Bogenelemente unter Beibehaltung der Gültigkeit der Rohrstrecke. Parametrische Änderungen der Rohrstrecke werden mit Hilfe eines Starrkörpersimulators durchgeführt. Das digitale Abbild des Entwurfsprozesses enthält analytische Gleichungen. Die Lösungssequenz dieser Gleichungen muss bei der Ausführung der Entwurfssprache automatisch bestimmt werden. Dies wird mit Hilfe eines Lösungspfadgenerators realisiert. In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird dazu auf Basis von Symmetriebetrachtungen ein selbstassemblierender Lösungspfadalgorithmus entwickelt. Dieser erlaubt, im Regelfall zyklenfreier Kopplungen, eine generische Parallelisierung der Lösungspfadfindung und führt so zu einer erheblichen Beschleunigung, verglichen mit klassischen graphenbasierten Algorithmen. Daneben wird ein Mechanismus zur Bestimmung der Abfolge einzelner Entwurfsschritte entwickelt. Durch eine systematische Sequenzialisierung des Entwurfsprozesses kann eine Reduktion der Entwurfskomplexität erreicht werden. Die mit den Produktanforderungen verträglichen Auslegungen der zu integrierenden Systeme bilden dabei Teilmengen im Raum der Entwurfsfreiheitsgrade. Aus der mathematischen Dimension dieser Teilmengen lässt sich eine bevorzugte Entwurfssequenz bestimmen: Bei der sequenziellen Integration zweier Teilsysteme sollte mit der Auslegung des niederdimensionaleren Teilsystems - dem System mit weniger Freiheitsgraden - begonnen werden. Das Prinzip der dimensionsabhängigen Entwurfsabfolge kann neben der Strukturierung des Entwurfsprozesses auch als Basis eines zukünftig selbstorganisierten Entwurfsprozesses dienen.
... Nepaisant informacijos stygiaus, ES turi turėti galimybę pateikti geriausias įmanomas išvadas iš turimos informacijos. Bejeso teorema matematiškai interpretuoja neapibrėžtus ar ne iki galo apibrėžtus sąryšius (Luger, Chakrabarti 2011). ...
Accessibility of expertise and expert inferences is one of the key factors for appropriate expert evaluation. Appropriate and timely expert information allows a smooth process of expertise. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have limited possibilities to acquire professional expertise for data security risk analysis due to limited finances. A risk management expert system is developed for SMEs with the ability to adapt to various subject domains using ontologies of the field. Article in Lithuanian
Conference Paper
Like other real-world problems, reasoning in clinical depression presents cognitive challenges for clinicians. This is due to the presence of co-occuring diseases, incomplete data, uncertain knowledge, and the vast amount of data to be analysed. Current approaches rely heavily on the experience, knowledge, and subjective opinions of clinicians, creating scalability issues. Automating this process requires a good knowledge representation technique to capture the knowledge of the domain experts, and multidimensional inferential reasoning approaches that can utilise a few bits and pieces of information for efficient reasoning. This study presents knowledge-based system with variants of Bayesian network models for efficient inferential reasoning, translating from available fragmented depression data to the desired information in a visually interpretable and transparent manner. Mutual information, a Conditional independence test-based method was used to learn the classifiers.
Conference Paper
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Hidden Markov models (HMMs) have proven to be one of the most widely used tools for learning probabilistic models of time series data. In an HMM, information about the past is conveyed through a single discrete variable—the hidden state. We discuss a generalization of HMMs in which this state is factored into multiple state variables and is therefore represented in a distributed manner. We describe an exact algorithm for inferring the posterior probabilities of the hidden state variables given the observations, and relate it to the forward–backward algorithm for HMMs and to algorithms for more general graphical models. Due to the combinatorial nature of the hidden state representation, this exact algorithm is intractable. As in other intractable systems, approximate inference can be carried out using Gibbs sampling or variational methods. Within the variational framework, we present a structured approximation in which the the state variables are decoupled, yielding a tractable algorithm for learning the parameters of the model. Empirical comparisons suggest that these approximations are efficient and provide accurate alternatives to the exact methods. Finally, we use the structured approximation to model Bach's chorales and show that factorial HMMs can capture statistical structure in this data set which an unconstrained HMM cannot.
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We have created a logic-based, Turing-complete language for stochastic modeling. Since the inference scheme for this language is based on a variant of Pearl's loopy belief propagation algorithm, we call it Loopy Logic. Traditional Bayesian networks have limited expressive power, basically constrained to finite domains as in the propositional calculus. Our language contains variables that can capture general classes of situations, events and relationships. A first-order language is also able to reason about potentially infinite classes and situations using constructs such as hidden Markov models(HMMs). Our language uses an Expectation-Maximization (EM) type learning of parameters. This has a natural fit with the Loopy Belief Propagation used for inference since both can be viewed as iterative message passing algorithms. We present the syntax and theoretical foundations for our Loopy Logic language. We then demonstrate three examples of stochastic modeling and diagnosis that explore the representational power of the language. A mechanical fault detection example displays how Loopy Logic can model time-series processes using an HMM variant. A digital circuit example exhibits the probabilistic modeling capabilities, and finally, a parameter fitting example demonstrates the power for learning unknown stochastic values.
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Full-text available online at Book.htm or at Artificial intelligence, or AI, is largely an experimental science—at least as much progress has been made by building and analyzing programs as by examining theoretical questions. MYCIN is one of several well-known programs that embody some intelligence and provide data on the extent to which intelligent behavior can be programmed. As with other AI programs, its development was slow and not always in a forward direction. But we feel we learned some useful lessons in the course of nearly a decade of work on MYCIN and related programs. In this book we share the results of many experiments performed in that time, and we try to paint a coherent picture of the work. The book is intended to be a critical analysis of several pieces of related research, performed by a large number of scientists. We believe that the whole field of AI will benefit from such attempts to take a detailed retrospective look at experiments, for in this way the scientific foundations of the field will gradually be defined. It is for all these reasons that we have prepared this analysis of the MYCIN experiments.
"By the late Rev. Mr. Bayes, F.R.S., communicated by Mr. Price, in a letter to John Canton, A.M., F.R.S." Published 1763
The Rete Match Algorithm is an efficient method for comparing a large collection of patterns to a large collection of objects. It finds all the objects that match each pattern. The algorithm was developed for use in production system interpreters, and it has been used for systems containing from a few hundred to more than a thousand patterns and objects. This article presents the algorithm in detail. It explains the basic concepts of the algorithm, it describes pattern and object representations that are appropriate for the algorithm, and it describes the operations performed by the pattern matcher.
"May 2005." Thesis (M.S.)--University of New Mexico, 2005. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 70-77).