Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 23 (NIPS 2010)
Han Liu, Xi Chen, Larry Wasserman, John Lafferty
Undirected graphical models encode in a graph $G$ the dependency structure of a random vector $Y$. In many applications, it is of interest to model $Y$ given another random vector $X$ as input. We refer to the problem of estimating the graph $G(x)$ of $Y$ conditioned on $X=x$ as ``graph-valued regression''. In this paper, we propose a semiparametric method for estimating $G(x)$ that builds a tree on the $X$ space just as in CART (classification and regression trees), but at each leaf of the tree estimates a graph. We call the method ``Graph-optimized CART'', or Go-CART. We study the theoretical properties of Go-CART using dyadic partitioning trees, establishing oracle inequalities on risk minimization and tree partition consistency. We also demonstrate the application of Go-CART to a meteorological dataset, showing how graph-valued regression can provide a useful tool for analyzing complex data.