**About this course: **Probabilistic graphical models (PGMs) are a rich framework for encoding probability distributions over complex domains: joint (multivariate) distributions over large numbers of random variables that interact with each other. These representations sit at the intersection of statistics and computer science, relying on concepts from probability theory, graph algorithms, machine learning, and more. They are the basis for the state-of-the-art methods in a wide variety of applications, such as medical diagnosis, image understanding, speech recognition, natural language processing, and many, many more. They are also a foundational tool in formulating many machine learning problems.
This course is the second in a sequence of three. Following the first course, which focused on representation, this course addresses the question of probabilistic inference: how a PGM can be used to answer questions. Even though a PGM generally describes a very high dimensional distribution, its structure is designed so as to allow questions to be answered efficiently. The course presents both exact and approximate algorithms for different types of inference tasks, and discusses where each could best be applied. The (highly recommended) honors track contains two hands-on programming assignments, in which key routines of the most commonly used exact and approximate algorithms are implemented and applied to a real-world problem.

JH

Pretty good course, albeit very dense compared to the first one (which was certainly not trivial). I would give it 5 stars just based on the content, but the programming assignments don't work without significant extra effort. I completed the honors track for the first course, but gave up after spending 4 hours trying to fix HW bugs that were reported 8 months ago.

Would have also been nice to have more practical examples to work on. Some of the material is very theoretical, and I find it hard to build intuitions without applying the algorithms in practice.