Learning Large-Scale Bayesian Networks with the sparsebn Package

Learning graphical models from data is an important problem with wide applications, ranging from genomics to the social sciences. Nowadays datasets typically have upwards of thousands---sometimes tens or hundreds of thousands---of variables and far fewer samples. To meet this challenge, we develop a new R package called sparsebn for learning the structure of large, sparse graphical models with a focus on Bayesian networks. While there are many existing packages for this task within the R ecosystem, this package focuses on the unique setting of learning large networks from high-dimensional data, possibly with interventions. As such, the methods provided place a premium on scalability and consistency in a high-dimensional setting. Furthermore, in the presence of interventions, the methods implemented here achieve the goal of learning a causal network from data. The sparsebn package is open-source and available on CRAN.

Comments: 33 pages, 7 figures

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