Distributionally Robust Graphical Models

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 31 (NeurIPS 2018)

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Rizal Fathony, Ashkan Rezaei, Mohammad Ali Bashiri, Xinhua Zhang, Brian Ziebart


In many structured prediction problems, complex relationships between variables are compactly defined using graphical structures. The most prevalent graphical prediction methods---probabilistic graphical models and large margin methods---have their own distinct strengths but also possess significant drawbacks. Conditional random fields (CRFs) are Fisher consistent, but they do not permit integration of customized loss metrics into their learning process. Large-margin models, such as structured support vector machines (SSVMs), have the flexibility to incorporate customized loss metrics, but lack Fisher consistency guarantees. We present adversarial graphical models (AGM), a distributionally robust approach for constructing a predictor that performs robustly for a class of data distributions defined using a graphical structure. Our approach enjoys both the flexibility of incorporating customized loss metrics into its design as well as the statistical guarantee of Fisher consistency. We present exact learning and prediction algorithms for AGM with time complexity similar to existing graphical models and show the practical benefits of our approach with experiments.