Dual Decomposition Inference for Graphical Models over Strings


We investigate dual decomposition for joint MAP inference of many strings. Given an arbitrary graphical model, we decompose it into small acyclic sub-models, whose MAP configurations can be found by finite-state composition and dynamic programming. We force the solutions of these subproblems to agree on overlapping variables, by tuning Lagrange multipliers for an adaptively expanding set of variable-length n-gram count features. This is the first inference method for arbitrary graphical models over strings that does not require approximations such as random sampling, message simplification, or a bound on string length. Provided that the inference method terminates, it gives a certificate of global optimality (though MAP inference in our setting is undecidable in general). On our global phonological inference problems, it always terminates, and achieves more accurate results than max-product and sum-product loopy belief propagation.

Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing