Variational EM has become a popular technique in probabilistic NLP with hidden variables. Commonly, for computational tractability, we make strong independence assumptions, such as the mean-field assumption, in approximating posterior distributions over hidden variables. We show how a looser restriction on the approximate posterior, requiring it to be a mixture, can help inject prior knowledge to exploit soft constraints during the variational E-step.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of ACL|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|