# Probabilistic Variational Bounds for Graphical Models

Qiang LiuJohn W. Fisher IiiAlexander T. Ihler

Variational algorithms such as tree-reweighted belief propagation can provide deterministic bounds on the partition function, but are often loose and difficult to use in an any-time'' fashion, expending more computation for tighter bounds. On the other hand, Monte Carlo estimators such as importance sampling have excellent any-time behavior, but depend critically on the proposal distribution... (read more)

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