Probabilistic Graphical Models 3: Learning
Stanford University
Coursera
list 5 sequences
assignment Level : Advanced
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key information

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About the content

Probabilistic graphical models (PGMs) are a rich framework for encoding probability distributions over complex domains: joint (multivariate) distributions over large numbers of random variables that interact with each other. These representations sit at the intersection of statistics and computer science, relying on concepts from probability theory, graph algorithms, machine learning, and more. They are the basis for the state-of-the-art methods in a wide variety of applications, such as medical diagnosis, image understanding, speech recognition, natural language processing, and many, many more. They are also a foundational tool in formulating many machine learning problems. This course is the third in a sequence of three. Following the first course, which focused on representation, and the second, which focused on inference, this course addresses the question of learning: how a PGM can be learned from a data set of examples. The course discusses the key problems of parameter estimation in both directed and undirected models, as well as the structure learning task for directed models. The (highly recommended) honors track contains two hands-on programming assignments, in which key routines of two commonly used learning algorithms are implemented and applied to a real-world problem.

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Syllabus

  • Week 1 - Learning: Overview
    This module presents some of the learning tasks for probabilistic graphical models that we will tackle in this course.
  • Week 1 - Review of Machine Learning Concepts from Prof. Andrew Ng's Machine Learning Class (Optional)
    This module contains some basic concepts from the general framework of machine learning, taken from Professor Andrew Ng's Stanford class offered on Coursera. Many of these concepts are highly relevant to the problems we'll tackle in this course.
  • Week 1 - Parameter Estimation in Bayesian Networks
    This module discusses the simples and most basic of the learning problems in probabilistic graphical models: that of parameter estimation in a Bayesian network. We discuss maximum likelihood estimation, and the issues with it. We then discuss Bayesian estimati...
  • Week 2 - Learning Undirected Models
    In this module, we discuss the parameter estimation problem for Markov networks - undirected graphical models. This task is considerably more complex, both conceptually and computationally, than parameter estimation for Bayesian networks, due to the issues pre...
  • Week 3 - Learning BN Structure
    This module discusses the problem of learning the structure of Bayesian networks. We first discuss how this problem can be formulated as an optimization problem over a space of graph structures, and what are good ways to score different structures so as to tra...
  • Week 4 - Learning BNs with Incomplete Data
    In this module, we discuss the problem of learning models in cases where some of the variables in some of the data cases are not fully observed. We discuss why this situation is considerably more complex than the fully observable case. We then present the Expe...
  • Week 5 - Learning Summary and Final
    This module summarizes some of the issues that arise when learning probabilistic graphical models from data. It also contains the course final.
  • Week 5 - PGM Wrapup
    This module contains an overview of PGM methods as a whole, discussing some of the real-world tradeoffs when using this framework in practice. It refers to topics from all three of the PGM courses.
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Intructors

Daphne Koller
Professor
School of Engineering

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Content designer

The Leland Stanford Junior University, commonly referred to as Stanford University or Stanford, is an American private research university located in Stanford, California on an 8,180-acre (3,310 ha) campus near Palo Alto, California, United States.
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Coursera is a digital company offering massive open online course founded by computer teachers Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller Stanford University, located in Mountain View, California. 

Coursera works with top universities and organizations to make some of their courses available online, and offers courses in many subjects, including: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects.

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Best review

Yeah! I managed to finish PGM. I feel ready to explore further. PGM 3 is really helpful. Although many details are not fully discussed, some important intuitions are well illustrated, like EM algorithm and its modification in case of incomplete data. Also, the way the teacher teach set an good example for me to learn to demonstrate complicated things in an easy and vivid way. Thank you so much!

Published on February 22, 2018
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on the February 22, 2018
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Yeah! I managed to finish PGM. I feel ready to explore further. PGM 3 is really helpful. Although many details are not fully discussed, some important intuitions are well illustrated, like EM algorithm and its modification in case of incomplete data. Also, the way the teacher teach set an good example for me to learn to demonstrate complicated things in an easy and vivid way. Thank you so much!

on the January 30, 2018
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very good course for PGM learning and concept for machine learning programming. Just some description for quiz of final exam is somehow unclear, which lead to a little bit confusing.

on the November 15, 2017
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Just completed the 3 course specialization. If you're interested (and already have some background) in Machine Learning, this specialization is totally worth it. However, if you have trouble solving any of the quizzes or assignments, do not expect to have any kind of support from the TAs. They simply do not respond to any post in the forum, even if it is related with any bug in the programming assignments source code.

on the September 22, 2017
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Pros:The course covers a highly important relatively large set of topics. If you get the content and managed to pass the quizzes and assignments, you're good to go with PGMs.Cons:The course is quite old, with no support from neither TAs nor instructors. The material isn't updated to match a specialization (even the assignment numbers are old, some test cases aren't updated and the course content and assignments are quite dependent).

on the May 22, 2017
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This was a very interesting specialization and beside the theoretical information in the videos I liked very much the programming assignments, which helped very much with understanding more deep the matter. The PAs were also very challenging, especially the ones in the learning part (course 3).