CSE 291: Probabilistic Methods in Artificial Intelligence -- General notes


Syllabus
1. Basic statistics (1 week)
Common distributions, conditional probability, frequentist versus Bayesian reasoning, maximum likelihood, Bayesian updating, conjugate priors.
2. More complex models (2 weeks)
Product distributions, the multivariate Gaussian, mixture models, EM, principal component analysis, factor analysis, hidden Markov models.
3. Probabilistic networks (2 weeks)
Conditional independence, semantics of directed and undirected models, equivalence to Markov random fields and Gibbs distributions, converting between models.
4. Inference (2 weeks)
Types of queries, basic complexity results, variable elimination, belief propagation, junction tree, variational methods, MCMC methods.
5. Learning parameters (2 weeks)
Entropy, axiomatic formulation and AEP, exponential families, maximum entropy principle, information projection, iterative proportional fitting, alternating minimization.
6. Learning structure (1 week)
Chow-Liu, basic complexity results, structural EM.

Course materials
1. You will need access to Matlab.
2. Useful supplementary material:
Stuart Russell and Peter Norvig, Artificial intelligence: a modern approach (second edition).
Thomas Cover and Joy Thomas, Elements of information theory.
Judea Pearl, Probabilistic reasoning in intelligent systems.
Richard Duda, Peter Hart, and David Stork, Pattern classification.

Prerequisites
An undergraduate-level background in basic probability, linear algebra, algorithms, and programming is assumed.

Workload
The only requirement will be a weekly homework assignment. Late homeworks might not get graded.
This class can be taken for 1, 2 or 4 units; however, the requirements and grading will be the same in all cases.