Back to Probabilistic Graphical Models 1: Representation

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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 first in a sequence of three. It describes the two basic PGM representations: Bayesian Networks, which rely on a directed graph; and Markov networks, which use an undirected graph. The course discusses both the theoretical properties of these representations as well as their use in practice. The (highly recommended) honors track contains several hands-on assignments on how to represent some real-world problems. The course also presents some important extensions beyond the basic PGM representation, which allow more complex models to be encoded compactly....

Jul 13, 2017

Prof. Koller did a great job communicating difficult material in an accessible manner. Thanks to her for starting Coursera and offering this advanced course so that we can all learn...Kudos!!

Oct 23, 2017

The course was deep, and well-taught. This is not a spoon-feeding course like some others. The only downside were some "mechanical" problems (e.g. code submission didn't work for me).

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By Blake B

•May 21, 2017

Awesome intro to graphical models, and the exercises really emphasize understanding and proceed at what seems like the appropriate pace. Challenging for sure, you need to want to learn this stuff. Only downside is I'm not a fan of using octave/matlab--really wish this could be rebuilt using python for all the exercises. I've probably spent 60% of my time devoted to this course on getting that setup working and wrestling with telling the computer to do what I want in an unpopular language--at least, unpopular out in the world outside of academia.

By Chan-Se-Yeun

•Jan 07, 2018

This course is quite interesting not that easy. It helps me understand Markov network. The questions within the video are very helpful. It helps me check out some essential concepts and details. What's more, I'm fascinated by the teacher's voice and her teaching style, though detailed reading is required off class to gain comprehensive understanding. This is the first time I take online course in courser, and it's fun. I think I'll keep on learning the rest 2 courses of this series.

By Haowen C

•Sep 01, 2017

Excellent course for picking out just the critical portions of the Koller & Friedman book (which is over 1000 pages long, forget about reading it cover to cover for self study). Don't skip the programming assignments, they're very important for solidifying your understanding. You'll spend at least 75% of the time fussing over the somewhat arbitrary and baroque data structures used to represent factors and CPDs in this course, but at the end it's worth the frustration.

By Dawood A C

•Oct 25, 2016

The course was very fruitful. It is was not that easy of course, I think it is one of the most difficult courses on Coursera but it deserves to try it once, twice and as many as you can until you understand the idea behind the course. The exams and the honor assignments were so tricky and not that easy to solve. If you don't have a probabilistic background, I think first better for you to take a course in data analysis and probability.

By 王文君

•May 21, 2017

Awesome class, the content is not too easy as most online courses. Still the instructor states the concepts clearly and the assignments aligns very well with the content to help me deepen my understanding of the concepts. The assignments are meaningful and challenging, finishing them gave me a great sense of achievement!!

It would be better if the examples in the classes could incorporate some industry applications.

By Rishi C

•Jan 29, 2018

Perhaps the best introduction to AI/ML - especially for those who think "the future ain't what it used to be"; the mathematical techniques covered by the course form a toolkit which can be easily thought of as "core", i.e. a locus of strength which enables a wide universe of thinking about complex problems (many of which were correctly not thought to be tractable in practice until very recently!)...

By Dimitrios K

•Oct 31, 2016

So happy to complete this one. It was tough - especially the programming exercises and mainly due to high degree of vague-ness and un-expressiveness of matlab/octave in contrast to e.g. Python or Scala. samiam was unexpectedly handy and usable. Very nice and educational piece of software. Excellent course - it's incredible how many Machine Learning models are expressed under the umbrella of PGMs.

By ivan v

•Jul 31, 2017

Excellent introduction which covers a wide range of PGM related topics. I really liked programming assignments. They are not too difficult but extremely instructive.

Word of advice: although programming assignments are not mandatory, dare not to skip them. You will be missing an excellent learning experience.

Another useful advice: lectures are self-contained but reading the book helps a lot.

By Meysam G

•Sep 12, 2019

I had actually read the David Barber book before I took this course. The course provides a deep insight to the PGMs which is necessary if one wants to utilize it in real applications or as in my case in research works. Moreover, the language of the instructor is comfortably plain, especially when it comes to explaining somewhat complicated concepts. In general, it is highly recommended.

By Gautam K

•Oct 17, 2016

This course probably the only best of class course available online. Prof Daphne Koller is one of the very few authority on this subject. I am glad to sign up this course and after completing gave me a great satisfaction learning Graphical Model. I also purchased the book written by Prof. Koller and Prof Friedman and I am going to continue my study on this subject.

By Diogo P

•Oct 11, 2017

Great course. The lectures are rather clear and the assignments are very insightful. It takes some time to complete, mostly if you are interested in doing the Honor programming assignments (and you really should be, because these are demanding but also very useful). Previous knowledge on basic probability theory and machine learning is highly recommended.

By SIYI Y

•Nov 04, 2016

This is definitely a good course. The honors assignments are interesting, which instruct you to implement graphical models from scratch to solve problems in real world using Matlab or Octave. This helps me understand the theory part better and allows me to have better sense how they can work practically applications.

By Siwei G

•Jun 07, 2017

It's a great class. A lot people may complain that there should be more details. Well, this course may not hold your hands all the way to the end, but it covers enough to get you started to learn independently. It is a graduate level class, and it should be designed in this way. 5 star for the wonderful content.

By Eric S

•Feb 01, 2018

A very in depth course on PGNs. You definitely need some background in math and a willingness to invest a lot of time into the course. Of most value to me were the programming exercises. They are in Octave as this is one of the earliest Coursera courses, but it is worth exploring the provided implementations.

By Douglas G

•Oct 24, 2016

This course is very help for who have to study anything the respect of machine learning example, which is a thing much used in every day and in the new context of new industries 4.0, and the studies of probabilistcs graphical can help who need to develop new programs each times more efectiviness and best.

By Venkateshwaralu

•Oct 26, 2016

I loved every minute of this course. I believe I can now understand those gory details of representing an algorithm and comfortably take on challenges that require construction and representation of a functional domain. On a different note, nurtured a new found respect for the graph data structure!

By Ryan D

•Jun 21, 2017

Quiz and Video Lecture content was good. Would have preferred different format for programming assignments. The 30 minute life time of programming assignment submission tokens was pretty inconvenient. Overall great course. Definitely more challenging than the Machine Learning course material.

By Jorge P

•Feb 27, 2017

Brilliant course, extremely challenging. Prof. Koller does a great job explaining the concepts and uses up-to-date and useful examples. The quizzes are the hardest I've faced in Coursera, this course is no joke, it will take time, effort and taking notes to get through it.

By roi s

•Oct 29, 2017

I really like how Dafna is teaching the course, very clear!

It will be nice if their could be a following course that will show new frameworks and code that implements PGMs. Like the courses of deep learning where Andrew Ng is focusing mostly on the practical side.

By Anurag P

•Jan 08, 2018

The course is quite hard, however it becomes easier if you follow the book along with course. Also, programming assignments need to improved, the bugs and known issues mentioned in forum should be incorporated to prevent people from wasting time on setup issues.

By Yuxuan X

•Aug 08, 2017

Awsome course for Information/Knowledge Engineering. Although not necessary to finish all the honor assignments, it is highly recommended to implement them. Not only for comprehension, but also practice. You can actually apply them on your career or research.

By Minh N

•Mar 01, 2017

Quite a steep learning curve. Definitely not for those without prior experience in machine learning, or statistics in general. Also, I would much appreciate it if more test cases were provided in the programming assignments to help with debugging.

By Christophe K

•Oct 22, 2016

Very challenging course, but hey, if you are here, you are looking for that!

Lots of knowledge to absorb, but that leads you to a deep understanding on Probability Graphs properties.

I've learnt a lot and I really enjoyed taking this course.

By José A R

•Sep 14, 2018

Excellent course. Very well explained with precise detail and practical material to consolidate knowledge.

This was my first approach to PGM and end it fascinated. Will look to learn more from this subject.

Thank you very much Daphne!!

By Chatard J

•Nov 25, 2016

Une méthode pédagogique sans faille. Des contrôles et des exercices qui permettent d'approfondir ce qu'on apprend et de faire le point en permanence. Un merveilleux voyage dans le monde des Modèles Graphiques Probabilistes.

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