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# Markov chain implementation in C++ using Eigen

, 17 Aug 2014 CPOL
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In this article we will look at markov models and its application in classification of discrete sequential data.

### Introduction

In this article we will look at markov models and its application in classification of discrete sequential data.

• Markov processes are examples of stochastic processes that generate random sequences of outcomes or states according to certain probabilities.
• Markov chains can be considered mathematical descriptions of Markov models with a discrete set of states.
• Markov chains are integer time process (X_n,n\ge 0) for which each random variable (X_n) is integer valued and depends on the past only through most recent random variable (X_{n-1}) for all integer (n\geq 1).
• (X_n,n\in N) is a discrete Markov chain on state space (S={1,\ldots,M})
• At each time instant t,The system changes state ,and makes a transition.
• The markov chains follow the markovian and stationarity property.
• For a first order markov chain,the markov property states that the state of the system at time (t+1) depends only on the state of the system at time (t). The markov chain is also said to be memoryless due to this property.
\begin{eqnarray*} & Pr(X_{t+1} = x_{t+1} |X_{t} = {x_1 \ldots x_t} = Pr(X_{t+1} = x_{t+1} |X_{t} = x_t) \end{eqnarray*}
• A stationarity assumption is also made which implies that markov property is independent of time.
\begin{eqnarray*} & Pr(X_{t+1} = x_i | X_{t} = x_j) = P_{i,j} & \text{for $\forall$ t and $\forall i,j \in {0 \ldots M}$} \end{eqnarray*}
• Thus we are looking at processes whose sample functions are sequence of integers between ({1 \ldots M}).
• Thus markov process is parameterized by transition probability (P_{ij}) and intital probability (P_{i0})
• Markov chains can be represented by directed graphs,where each state is represented by a node and directed arc represents a non zero transition probability.
• If a markov chain has M states then transition probability can be represented by a (MxM) matrix.
\begin{eqnarray*} &T =\begin{bmatrix} P_{11} & P_{22} & \ldots &P_{1M} \\ P_{21} & P_{22} & \ldots & P_{2M} \\ \ldots \\ P_{M1} & P_{M2} & \ldots & P_{MM} \\ \end{bmatrix} \\ &\sum_{j} P_{ij} = 1 \end{eqnarray*}
• The matrix T is stochastic matrix where elements in each row sum to 1
• This implies that it is necessary for transition to occur from present state to one of the M states.
• The probability of sequence being generated by markov chain is given by
\begin{eqnarray*} &P({X}) = \pi(x_0)*\prod_{t=1}^T p(x_t | x_{t-1}) \\ & \text{$p(x_t | x_{t-1})$ is the probability of observing the sequence $x_t$ at} \\ \end{eqnarray*}

time instant t given the present state is (t-1)

• Let us consider a 2 models with following initial transition and probability matrix.
\begin{eqnarray*} & \pi_1 = \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 0 & 0 \\ \end{bmatrix} \\ & T_1 = \begin{bmatrix} 0.6 & 0.4 & 0 \\ 0.3 & 0.3 & 0.4 \\ 0.4 & 0.1 & 0.5 \\ \end{bmatrix}
& \pi_2 = \begin{bmatrix} 0.1 & .5 & 0.4 \end{bmatrix} \\ & T_2 = \begin{bmatrix} 0.9 & 0.05 & 0.05 \\ 0.3 & 0.1 & 0.6 \\ 0.3 & 0.5 & 0.2 \\ \end{bmatrix} \end{eqnarray*}

### Sequence Classification

• The sequence generate from these two markov chains
\begin{eqnarray*} & S_1= \begin{bmatrix} 1 & 2 & 1 & 2 & 3 \\ 3 & 3 & 2 & 1 & 1 \\ \end{bmatrix} \\ & S_2= \begin{bmatrix} 3 & 2 & 1 & 1 & 1 \\ 1 & 1 & 1 & 1 & 1 \\ \end{bmatrix} \end{eqnarray*}
• In sequence 1 since (P_{13}=0), we can observe there is no transition from 1 to 3 and dominant transition is expected to be from (1->1).
• In sequence 2 since dominant transition is from (1->1) we can observe a long sequence of 1's.
• We can also compute the probability that the sequence has been generate from a given markov process.
• The sequence 1 has probability of (8.6400e^{-05}) from the 1st model and ( 2.4300e^{-07}) from second model.
• The sequence 2 has probability of 0 being generate from 1st model and 0.00287 from 2nd model.
• Thus if we have sequence and know it is being generate from 1 of 2 models we can always predict the model the sequence has been generated from by choosing the model which generates the maximum probability.
• Thus we can use markov chain for sequence modelling and classification.
01	/**
02	 * @brief The markovChain class : markovChain is a class
03	 * which encapsulates the representation of a discrete markov
04	 * chain.A markov chain is composed of transition matrix
05	 * and initial probability matrix
06	 */
07	class markovChain
08	{
09	public:
10	    markovChain(){};
11
12	    /* _transition holds the transition probability matrix
13	     * _initial holds the initial probability matrix
14	     */
15	    MatrixXf _transition;
16	    MatrixXf _initial;
17
18	     /**
19	     * @brief setModel : function to set the parameters
20	     * of the model
21	     * @param transition : NXN transition matrix
22	     * @param initial : 1XN initial probability matrix
23	     */
24	  void setModel(Mat transition,Mat initial)
25	    {
26	        _transition=EigenUtils::setData(transition);
27	        _initial=EigenUtils::setData(initial);
28	    }
29	    void setModel(Mat transition,Mat initial)
30	    {
31	        _transition=EigenUtils::setData(transition);
32	        _initial=EigenUtils::setData(initial);
33	    }
34
35	    /**
36	     * @brief computeProbability : compute the probability
37	     * that the sequence is generate from the markov chain
38	     * @param sequence : is a vector of integral sequence
39	     *      starting from 0
40	     * @return         : is probability
41	     */
42	    float computeProbability(vector<int> sequence)
43	    {
44	        float res=0;
45	        float init=_initial(0,sequence[0]);
46	        res=init;
47	        for(int i=0;i<sequence.size()-1;i++)
48	        {
49	            res=res*_transition(sequence[i],sequence[i+1]);
50	        }
51	        return res;
52
53	    }
54
55	}

### Generating a Sequence

• The idea behind generating a sequence from a markov process is to use a uniform random number generator.
• For each row of initial probability or transition matrix select state which is most likely.
• For example if the row contains values ([0.6,0.4,0])
• If a uniform random value generates a value between 0 and 0.6 then state 0 is returned
• If a random value between 0.6 and 1 is generated then state 1 is returned.
01	/**
02	 * @brief initialRand : function to generate a radom state
03	 * @param matrix      : input matrix
04	 * @param index       ; row of matrix to consider
05	 * @return
06	 */
07	int initialRand(MatrixXf matrix,int index)
08	{
09
10	    float u=((float)rand())/RAND_MAX;
11	    cerr << u << endl;
12	    float s=matrix(0,0);
13	    int i=0;
14	    //select the index corresponding to the highest probability
15	    //or if all the cols of matrix have transitioned
16	    while(u>s & (i<matrix.cols()))
17	    {
18	        i=i+1;
19	        s=s+matrix(index,i);
20	    }
21	    return i;
22	}
• First step is to use the above method to select a inital state of matrix by passing the initial probability matrix as input.
• Next random state will be selected from the transition probability by passing the transition probability matrix as input.
01	/**
02	 * @brief generateSequence is a function that generates
03	 * a sequence of specified length
04	 * @param n : is the length of the sequence
05	 * @return : is a vector of integers representing
06	 * generated sequence
07	 */
08	vector<int> generateSequence(int n)
09	{
10
11	    vector<int> result;
12	    result.resize(n);
13	    int i=0;
14	    int index=0;
15	    //select a random initial value of sequence
16	    int init=initialRand(_initial,0);
17	    result[i]=init;
18	    index=init;
19	    for(i=1;i<n;i++)
20	    {
21	    //select a random transition to next sequence state
22	    index=initialRand(_transition,index);
23	    result[i]=index;
24	    }
25	    return result;
26	}

### Code

The code can be found in https://github.com/pi19404/OpenVision in files {ImgML/markovchain.cpp} and {ImgML/markovchain.hpp} . http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/808292/Markov-chain-implementation-in-Cplusplus-using-Eig http://pi-virtualworld.blogspot.ca/2014/04/markov-chain-implementation-in-c-using.html

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