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Learning Spatial-Temporal Varying Graphs with Applications to Climate Data Analysis

journal contribution
posted on 2010-01-01, 00:00 authored by Xi Chen, Yan Liu, Han Liu, Jaime G. Carbonell

An important challenge in understanding climate change is to uncover the dependency relationships between various climate observations and forcing factors. Graphical lasso, a recently proposed l1  penalty based structure learning algorithm, has been proven successful for learning underlying dependency structures for the data drawn from a multivariate Gaussian distribution. However, climatological data often turn out to be non-Gaussian, e.g. cloud cover, precipitation, etc. In this paper, we examine nonparametric learning methods to address this challenge. In particular, we develop a methodology to learn dynamic graph structures from spatial-temporal data so that the graph structures at adjacent time or locations are similar. Experimental results demonstrate that our method not only recovers the underlying graph well but also captures the smooth variation properties on both synthetic data and climate data.




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