Finding structures in information networks using the affinity network

  • Michel F. Randrianandrasana

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis proposes a novel graphical model for inference called the Affinity Network,which displays the closeness between pairs of variables and is an alternative to Bayesian Networks and Dependency Networks. The Affinity Network shares some similarities with Bayesian Networks and Dependency Networks but avoids their heuristic and stochastic graph construction algorithms by using a message passing scheme. A comparison with the above two instances of graphical models is given for sparse discrete and continuous medical data and data taken from the UCI machine learning repository. The experimental study reveals that the Affinity Network graphs tend to be more accurate on the basis of an exhaustive search with the small datasets. Moreover, the graph construction algorithm is faster than the other two methods with huge datasets. The Affinity Network is also applied to data produced by a synchronised system. A detailed analysis and numerical investigation into this dynamical system is provided and it is shown that the Affinity Network can be used to characterise its emergent behaviour even in the presence of noise.
Date of AwardMay 2011
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDavid Lowe (Supervisor)


  • Affinity network
  • bayesian network
  • dependency network
  • clinical decision support
  • microelectromechanical systems
  • emergent collective behaviour

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