A Parallel Algorithm for Bayesian Network Structure Learning from Large Data Sets
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionKnowledge-Based Systems. 2017, 117 46-55. 10.1016/j.knosys.2016.07.031
This paper considers a parallel algorithm for Bayesian network structure learning from large data sets. The parallel algorithm is a variant of the well known PC algorithm. The PC algorithm is a constraint-based algorithm consisting of five steps where the first step is to perform a set of (conditional) independence tests while the remaining four steps relate to identifying the structure of the Bayesian network using the results of the (conditional) independence tests. In this paper, we describe a new approach to parallelization of the (conditional) independence testing as experiments illustrate that this is by far the most time consuming step. The proposed parallel PC algorithm is evaluated on data sets generated at random from five different real-world Bayesian networks. The algorithm is also compared empirically with a process-based approach where each process manages a subset of the data over all the variables on the Bayesian network. The results demonstrate that significant time performance improvements are possible using both approaches.