Publication Type

Conference Proceeding Article

Publication Date



Computing maximum a posteriori (MAP) estimation in graphical models is an important inference problem with many applications. We present message-passing algorithms for quadratic programming (QP) formulations of MAP estimation for pairwise Markov random fields. In particular, we use the concave-convex procedure (CCCP) to obtain a locally optimal algorithm for the non-convex QP formulation. A similar technique is used to derive a globally convergent algorithm for the convex QP relaxation of MAP. We also show that a recently developed expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm for the QP formulation of MAP can be derived from the CCCP perspective. Experiments on synthetic and real-world problems confirm that our new approach is competitive with max-product and its variations. Compared with CPLEX, we achieve more than an order-of-magnitude speedup in solving optimally the convex QP relaxation.


Artificial Intelligence and Robotics | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering

Research Areas

Intelligent Systems and Decision Analytics


Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS) 2012, 21-23 April, La Palma, Canary Islands

First Page


Last Page



Journal of Machine Learning Research

City or Country

Cambridge, MA

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.