Machine Learning

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 309–347

A Bayesian method for the induction of probabilistic networks from data

  • Gregory F. Cooper
  • Edward Herskovits

DOI: 10.1007/BF00994110

Cite this article as:
Cooper, G.F. & Herskovits, E. Mach Learn (1992) 9: 309. doi:10.1007/BF00994110


This paper presents a Bayesian method for constructing probabilistic networks from databases. In particular, we focus on constructing Bayesian belief networks. Potential applications include computer-assisted hypothesis testing, automated scientific discovery, and automated construction of probabilistic expert systems. We extend the basic method to handle missing data and hidden (latent) variables. We show how to perform probabilistic inference by averaging over the inferences of multiple belief networks. Results are presented of a preliminary evaluation of an algorithm for constructing a belief network from a database of cases. Finally, we relate the methods in this paper to previous work, and we discuss open problems.


probabilistic networks Bayesian belief networks machine learning induction 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory F. Cooper
    • 1
  • Edward Herskovits
    • 2
  1. 1.Section of Medical Informatics, Department of MedicineUniversity of PittsburghPittsburgh
  2. 2.Noetic Systems, IncorporatedBaltimore

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