Aslay, Cigdem; Ciaperoni, Martino; Gionis, Aristides; Mathioudakis, Michael
(2021)
IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering
Bayesian networks are general, well-studied probabilistic models that capture dependencies among a set of variables. Variable Elimination is a fundamental algorithm for probabilistic inference over Bayesian networks. In this paper, we propose a novel materialization method, which can lead to significant efficiency gains when processing inference queries using the Variable Elimination algorithm. In particular, we address the problem of choosing a set of intermediate results to precompute and materialize, so as to maximize the expected efficiency gain over a given query workload. For the problem we consider, we provide an optimal polynomial-time algorithm and discuss alternative methods. We validate our technique using real-world Bayesian networks. Our experimental results confirm that a modest amount of materialization can lead to significant improvements in the running time of queries, with an average gain of 70%, and reaching up to a gain of 99%, for a uniform workload of queries. Moreover, in comparison with existing junction tree methods that also rely on materialization, our approach achieves competitive efficiency during inference using significantly lighter materialization.