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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Informatics : Informatics

Postgraduate Course: Probabilistic Modelling and Reasoning (INFR11050)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Informatics CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaInformatics Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionWhen dealing with real world data, we often need to deal with uncertainty. For example, short segments of a speech signal are ambiguous, and we need to take into account context in order to make sense of an utterance. Probability theory provides a rigorous method for representing and reasoning with uncertain knowledge. The course covers two main areas (i) the process of inference in probabilistic reasoning systems and (ii) learning probabilistic models from data. Its aim is to provide a firm grounding in probabilistic modelling and reasoning, and to give a basis which will allow students to go on to develop their interests in more specific areas, such as data-intensive linguistics, automatic speech recognition, probabilistic expert systems, statistical theories of vision etc.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is open to all Informatics students including those on joint degrees. For external students where this course is not listed in your DPT, please seek special permission from the course organiser.

Mathematics prerequisites:

1 - Probability theory: Discrete and continuous univariate random variables. Expectation, variance. Joint and conditional distributions.

2 - Linear algebra: Vectors and matrices: definitions, addition. Matrix multiplication, matrix inversion. Eigenvectors, determinants, quadratic forms.

3 - Calculus: Functions of several variables. Partial differentiation. Multivariate maxima and minima. Integration: need to know definitions, including multivariate integration.

4 - Special functions: Log, exp are fundamental.

5 - Geometry: Basics of lines, planes and hyperplanes. Coordinate geometry of circle, sphere, ellipse, ellipsoid and n-dimensional generalizations.

6 - Graph theory: Basic concepts and definitions: vertices and edges, directed and undirected graphs, trees, paths and cycles, cliques.

Programming prerequisite: A basic level of programming is assumed and not covered in lectures. The assessed assignment will involve some programming, probably in MATLAB.
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 68 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 80 %, Coursework 20 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
1 - Define the joint distribution implied by directed and undirected probabilistic graphical models.
2 - Carry out inference ingraphical models from first principles by hand, and by using the junction tree algorithm.
3 - Demonstrate understanding of maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods for parameter estimation by hand derivation of estimation equations for specific problems.
4 - Critically discuss differences between various latent variable models for data.
5 - Derive EM updates for various latent variable models (e.g. mixture models).
6 - Define entropy, joint entropy, conditional entropy, mutual information, expected code length.
7 - Demonstrate ability to design, assess and evaluate belief network models.
8 - Use matlab code implementing probabilistic graphic models.
9 - Demonstrate ability to conduct experimental investigations and draw conclusions from them.
Assessment Information
Written Examination 80
Assessed Assignments 20
Oral Presentations 0

One assignment, mainly focussing on learning probabilistic models of data.

If delivered in semester 1, this course will have an option for semester 1 only visiting undergraduate students, providing assessment prior to the end of the calendar year.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus *Introduction
* Probability
o events, discrete variables
o joint, conditional probability
* Discrete belief networks, inference
* Continuous distributions, graphical Gaussian models
* Learning: Maximum Likelihood parameter estimation
* Decision theory
* Hidden variable models
o mixture models and the EM algorithm
o factor analysis
o ICA, non-linear factor analysis
* Dynamic hidden variable models
o Hidden Markov models
o Kalman filters (and extensions)
* Undirected graphical models
o Markov Random Fields
o Boltzmann machines
* Information theory
o entropy, mutual information
o source coding, Kullback-Leibler divergence
* Bayesian methods for
o Inference on parameters
o Model comparison

Relevant QAA Computing Curriculum Sections: Artificial Intelligence
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list * The course text is "Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning" by C. M. Bishop (Springer, 2006).
* In addition, David MacKay's book "Information Theory, Inference and Learning Algorithms" (CUP, 2003) is highly recommended.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Lectures 20
Tutorials 7
Timetabled Laboratories 0
Non-timetabled assessed assignments 20
Private Study/Other 53
Total 100
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Iain Murray
Tel: (0131 6)51 9078
Course secretaryMs Katey Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 2701
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