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Probabilistic Graphical Models: Principles and Techniques (Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning series) 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1401113034
ISBN-10: 0262013193
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Editorial Reviews

Review

This landmark book provides a very extensive coverage of the field, ranging from basic representational issues to the latest techniques for approximate inference and learning. As such, it is likely to become a definitive reference for all those who work in this area. Detailed worked examples and case studies also make the book accessible to students.

(Kevin Murphy, Department of Computer Science, University of British Columbia)

About the Author

Daphne Koller is Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University. Nir Friedman is Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Hebrew University.

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Product Details

  • Series: Adaptive Computation and Machine Learning series
  • Hardcover: 1280 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (July 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262013193
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262013192
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,823 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
If you're trying to learn probabilistic graphical models on your own, this is the best book you can buy.
The introduction to fundamental probabilistic concepts is better than most probability books out there and the rest of the book has the same quality and in-depth approach. References, discussions and examples are all chosen so that you can take this book as the centre of your learning and make a jump to more detailed treatment of any topic using other resources.

Another huge plus is Professor Daphne Koller's online course material. Her course for probabilistic models is available online, and watching the videos alongside the book really helps sometimes.

If you have a strong mathematical background, you may find the book a little bit too pedagogic for your taste, but if you're looking for a single resource to learn the topic on your own, then this book is what you need.

The only problem with it is that it is a big book to carry around, and if you buy the Kindle edition for the iPad, you'll have to zoom into pages to read comfortably(or maybe I have bad eye sight), and Kindle app on iPad does not keep the zoom level across pages. So my experience is, zoom, pan, read, change page, zoom, pan, go back to previous page to see something, zoom, pan... You get the idea. I'd gladly pay more for a pdf version which I could read with other software on the iPad. Even though my reading experience has been a bit unpleasant due to Kindle app, the book deserves five stars, since it is the content that matters.
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Format: Hardcover
Stanford professor, Daphne Koller, and her co-author, Professor Nir Friedman, employed graphical models to motivate thoroughgoing explorations of representation, inference and learning in both Bayesian networks and Markov networks. They do their own bidding at the book's web page, [...], by giving readers a panoramic view of the book in an introductory chapter and a Table of Contents. On the same page, there is a link to an extensive Errata file which lists all the known errors and corrections made in subsequent printings of the book - all the corrections had been incorporated into the copy I have. The authors painstakingly provided necessary background materials from both probability theory and graph theory in the second chapter. Furthermore, in an Appendix, more tutorials are offered on information theory, algorithms and combinatorial optimization. This book is an authoritative extension of Professor Judea Pearl's seminal work on developing the Bayesian Networks framework for causal reasoning and decision making under uncertainty. Before this book was published, I sent an e-mail to Professor Koller requesting some clarification of her paper on object-oriented Bayesian networks; she was most generous in writing an elaborate reply with deliberate speed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book to use for the Coursera course on PGM taught by the author. It was essential to being able to follow the course. I would not say that it is an easy book to pick up and learn from. It was a good reference to use to get more details on the topics covered in the lectures.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the book that really got me into AI research. Clearly written and detailed. I especially like that variational inference is taught using discrete variables so you don't need to learn both variational inference and calculus of variations at the same time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want a very close look under the hood of Bayesian Networks, I can highly recommend Probabilistic Graphical Models. It's extremely comprehensive (1,200+ pages), well structured and clearly written. Theory, computation and application - including how to think about causation - are all covered in depth. Not light reading and not suited for those with limited stats background, but all in all one of the best textbooks on analytics topics I've ever read. Very impressive.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
with an eye to taking the course. Very informative. Although the phrase "in context" covers a multitude of sins. I'd prefer the distinction between the the distribution of an intersection of random variables (where comma's are used as a short-hand) and joint distributions a bit clearer.

Aside, I managed to find an error not listed on the errata web page for the book. The equation for MAP queries on page 26 has it as the maximal assignment of a JOINT distribution, while on the next page it is the maximal assignment of a CONDITIONAL distribution (I believe this is the correct one). This was a little confusing until I read page 26 a bit closer.

Before you ask, yes I do read Math textbooks for pleasure.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This popular book makes a noble attempt at unifying the many different types of probabilistic models used in artificial intelligence. It seems like a good reference manual for people who are already familiar with the fundamental concepts of commonly used probabilistic graphical models. However, it contains a lot of rambling and jumping between concepts that will quickly confuse a reader who is not already familiar with the subject. While the book appears to be systematic in introducing the subject with mathematical rigor (definitions and theorems), it actually skips a lot of fundamental concepts and leaves a lot of important proofs as exercises. I would recommend that a beginner in the subject start with another book like that by Jordan and Bishop, while keeping this book around as a reference manual or bank of practice problems for further study. The Coursera class on this subject is much easier to follow than this book is.
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