AND/OR Importance Sampling

Vibhav Gogate and Rina Dechter

The paper introduces AND/OR importance sampling for probabilistic graphical models. In contrast to importance sampling, AND/OR importance sampling caches samples in the AND/OR space and then extracts a new sample mean from the stored samples. We prove that AND/OR importance sampling may have lower variance than importance sampling; thereby providing a theoretical justification for preferring it over importance sampling. Our empirical evaluation demonstrates that AND/OR importance sampling is far more accurate than importance sampling in many cases.