Automating Model Comparison in Factor Graphs


Bayesian state and parameter estimation are automated effectively in a variety of probabilistic programming languages. The process of model comparison on the other hand, which still requires error-prone and time-consuming manual derivations, is often overlooked despite its importance. This paper efficiently automates Bayesian model averaging, selection, and combination by message passing on a Forney-style factor graph with a custom mixture node. Parameter and state inference, and model comparison can then be executed simultaneously using message passing with scale factors. This approach shortens the model design cycle and allows for the straightforward extension to hierarchical and temporal model priors to accommodate for modeling complicated time-varying processes.

Entropy. Special issue on Probabilistic Models in Machine and Human Learning