Statistically Valid Variational Bayes Algorithm for Ising Model Parameter Estimation

Minwoo Kim, Shrijita Bhattacharya, Tapabrata Maiti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ising models originated in statistical physics and are widely used in modeling spatial data and computer vision problems. However, statistical inference of this model remains challenging due to intractable nature of the normalizing constant in the likelihood. Here, we use a pseudo-likelihood instead, to study the Bayesian estimation of two-parameter, inverse temperature and magnetization, Ising model with a fully specified coupling matrix. We develop a computationally efficient variational Bayes procedure for model estimation. Under the Gaussian mean-field variational family, we derive posterior contraction rates of the variational posterior obtained under the pseudo-likelihood. We also discuss the loss incurred due to variational posterior over true posterior for the pseudo-likelihood approach. Extensive simulation studies validate the efficacy of mean-field Gaussian and bivariate Gaussian families as the possible choices of the variational family for inference of Ising model parameters. Supplementary materials for this article are available online.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jun 30 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Discrete Mathematics and Combinatorics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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