Belief propagation is a widely used message passing method for the solution of probabilistic models on networks such as epidemic models, spin models, and Bayesian graphical models, but it suffers from the serious shortcoming that it works poorly in the common case of networks that contain short loops. Here, we provide a solution to this long-standing problem, deriving a belief propagation method that allows for fast calculation of probability distributions in systems with short loops, potentially with high density, as well as giving expressions for the entropy and partition function, which are notoriously difficult quantities to compute. Using the Ising model as an example, we show that our approach gives excellent results on both real and synthetic networks, improving substantially on standard message passing methods. We also discuss potential applications of our method to a variety of other problems.
Message passing on networks with loops
Message passing is a fundamental technique for performing calculations on networks and graphs with applications in physics, computer science, statistics, and machine learning, including Bayesian inference, spin models, satisfiability, graph partitioning, network epidemiology, and the calculation of matrix eigenvalues. Despite its wide use, however, it has long been recognized that the method has a fundamental flaw: It works poorly on networks that contain short loops. Loops introduce correlations that can cause the method to give inaccurate answers or to fail completely in the worst cases. Unfortunately, most real-world networks contain many short loops, which limits the usefulness of the message-passing approach. In this paper we demonstrate how to rectify this shortcoming and create message-passing methods that work on any network. We give 2 example applications, one to the percolation properties of networks and the other to the calculation of the spectra of sparse matrices.
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- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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- 23398 to 23403
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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