Abstract:
Conditional independence and Markov properties are powerful tools allowing expression of multidimensional probability distributions by means of low-dimensional ones. As multidimensional possibilistic models have been studied for several years, the demand for analogous tools in possibility theory seems to be quite natural. This paper is intended to be a promotion of de Cooman's measure-theoretic approcah to possibility theory, as this approach allows us to find analogies to many important results obtained in probabilistic framework. First, we recall semi-graphoid properties of conditional possibilistic independence, parameterized by a continuous t-norm, and find sufficient conditions for a class of Archimedean t-norms to have the graphoid property. Then we introduce Markov properties and factorization of possibility distrubtions (again parameterized by a continuous t-norm) and find the relationships between them. These results are accompanied by a number of conterexamples, which show that the assumptions of specific theorems are substantial.

Abstract:
This paper introduces the notions of independence and conditional independence in valuation-based systems (VBS). VBS is an axiomatic framework capable of representing many different uncertainty calculi. We define independence and conditional independence in terms of factorization of the joint valuation. The definitions of independence and conditional independence in VBS generalize the corresponding definitions in probability theory. Our definitions apply not only to probability theory, but also to Dempster-Shafer's belief-function theory, Spohn's epistemic-belief theory, and Zadeh's possibility theory. In fact, they apply to any uncertainty calculi that fit in the framework of valuation-based systems.

Abstract:
Valuation networks have been proposed as graphical representations of valuation-based systems (VBSs). The VBS framework is able to capture many uncertainty calculi including probability theory, Dempster-Shafer's belief-function theory, Spohn's epistemic belief theory, and Zadeh's possibility theory. In this paper, we show how valuation networks encode conditional independence relations. For the probabilistic case, the class of probability models encoded by valuation networks includes undirected graph models, directed acyclic graph models, directed balloon graph models, and recursive causal graph models.

Abstract:
Possibility theory offers a framework where both Lehmann's "preferential inference" and the more productive (but less cautious) "rational closure inference" can be represented. However, there are situations where the second inference does not provide expected results either because it cannot produce them, or even provide counter-intuitive conclusions. This state of facts is not due to the principle of selecting a unique ordering of interpretations (which can be encoded by one possibility distribution), but rather to the absence of constraints expressing pieces of knowledge we have implicitly in mind. It is advocated in this paper that constraints induced by independence information can help finding the right ordering of interpretations. In particular, independence constraints can be systematically assumed with respect to formulas composed of literals which do not appear in the conditional knowledge base, or for default rules with respect to situations which are "normal" according to the other default rules in the base. The notion of independence which is used can be easily expressed in the qualitative setting of possibility theory. Moreover, when a counter-intuitive plausible conclusion of a set of defaults, is in its rational closure, but not in its preferential closure, it is always possible to repair the set of defaults so as to produce the desired conclusion.

Abstract:
An ordinal view of independence is studied in the framework of possibility theory. We investigate three possible definitions of dependence, of increasing strength. One of them is the counterpart to the multiplication law in probability theory, and the two others are based on the notion of conditional possibility. These two have enough expressive power to support the whole possibility theory, and a complete axiomatization is provided for the strongest one. Moreover we show that weak independence is well-suited to the problems of belief change and plausible reasoning, especially to address the problem of blocking of property inheritance in exception-tolerant taxonomic reasoning.

Abstract:
Independence screening is a powerful method for variable selection for `Big Data' when the number of variables is massive. Commonly used independence screening methods are based on marginal correlations or variations of it. In many applications, researchers often have some prior knowledge that a certain set of variables is related to the response. In such a situation, a natural assessment on the relative importance of the other predictors is the conditional contributions of the individual predictors in presence of the known set of variables. This results in conditional sure independence screening (CSIS). Conditioning helps for reducing the false positive and the false negative rates in the variable selection process. In this paper, we propose and study CSIS in the context of generalized linear models. For ultrahigh-dimensional statistical problems, we give conditions under which sure screening is possible and derive an upper bound on the number of selected variables. We also spell out the situation under which CSIS yields model selection consistency. Moreover, we provide two data-driven methods to select the thresholding parameter of conditional screening. The utility of the procedure is illustrated by simulation studies and analysis of two real data sets.

Abstract:
We study notions of robustness of Markov kernels and probability distribution of a system that is described by $n$ input random variables and one output random variable. Markov kernels can be expanded in a series of potentials that allow to describe the system's behaviour after knockouts. Robustness imposes structural constraints on these potentials. Robustness of probability distributions is defined via conditional independence statements. These statements can be studied algebraically. The corresponding conditional independence ideals are related to binary edge ideals. The set of robust probability distributions lies on an algebraic variety. We compute a Gr\"obner basis of this ideal and study the irreducible decomposition of the variety. These algebraic results allow to parametrize the set of all robust probability distributions.

Abstract:
The paper investigates properties of the conditional independence relation between pieces of information. This relation is also known in the database theory as embedded multivalued dependency. In 1980, Parker and Parsaye-Ghomi established that the properties of this relation can not be described by a finite system of inference rules. In 1995, Herrmann proved that the propositional theory of this relation is undecidable. The main result of this paper is a complete recursively enumerable axiomatization of this theory.

Abstract:
Conditional independence in a multivariate normal (or Gaussian) distribution is characterized by the vanishing of subdeterminants of the distribution's covariance matrix. Gaussian conditional independence models thus correspond to algebraic subsets of the cone of positive definite matrices. For statistical inference in such models it is important to know whether or not the model contains singularities. We study this issue in models involving up to four random variables. In particular, we give examples of conditional independence relations which, despite being probabilistically representable, yield models that non-trivially decompose into a finite union of several smooth submodels.

Abstract:
In broad applications, it is routinely of interest to assess whether there is evidence in the data to refute the assumption of conditional independence of $Y$ and $X$ conditionally on $Z$. Such tests are well developed in parametric models but are not straightforward in the nonparametric case. We propose a general Bayesian approach, which relies on an encompassing nonparametric Bayes model for the joint distribution of $Y$, $X$ and $Z$. The framework allows $Y$, $X$ and $Z$ to be random variables on arbitrary spaces, and can accommodate different dimensional vectors having a mixture of discrete and continuous measurement scales. Using conditional mutual information as a scalar summary of the strength of the conditional dependence relationship, we construct null and alternative hypotheses. We provide conditions under which the correct hypothesis will be consistently selected. Computational methods are developed, which can be incorporated within MCMC algorithms for the encompassing model. The methods are applied to variable selection and assessed through simulations and criminology applications.