A Factor Graph Description of Deep Temporal Active Inference


Active inference is a corollary of the Free Energy Principle that prescribes how self-organizing biological agents interact with their environment. The study of active inference processes relies on the definition of a generative probabilistic model and a description of how a free energy functional is minimized by neuronal message passing under that model. This paper presents a tutorial introduction to specifying active inference processes by Forney-style factor graphs (FFG). The FFG framework provides both an insightful representation of the probabilistic model and a biologically plausible inference scheme that, in principle, can be automatically executed in a computer simulation. As an illustrative example, we present an FFG for a deep temporal active inference process. The graph clearly shows how policy selection by expected free energy minimization results from free energy minimization per se, in an appropriate generative policy model.

Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 11:95, doi:10.3389/fncom.2017.00095