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Efficient Detection of Exchangeable Factors in Factor Graphs

Malte Luttermann; Johann Machemer; Marcel Gehrke
In: Proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh International FLAIRS Conference. International FLAIRS Conference (FLAIRS-2024), May 19-21, Miramar Beach, FL, USA, Florida Online Journals, 2024.


To allow for tractable probabilistic inference with respect to domain sizes, lifted probabilistic inference exploits symmetries in probabilistic graphical models. However, checking whether two factors encode equivalent semantics and hence are exchangeable is computationally expensive. In this paper, we efficiently solve the problem of detecting exchangeable factors in a factor graph. In particular, we introduce the detection of exchangeable factors (DEFT) algorithm, which allows us to drastically reduce the computational effort for checking whether two factors are exchangeable in practice. While previous approaches iterate all O(n!) permutations of a factor’s argument list in the worst case (where n is the number of arguments of the factor), we prove that DEFT efficiently identifies restrictions to drastically reduce the number of permutations and validate the efficiency of DEFT in our empirical evaluation.