Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Ruriko Yoshida


The main theme of this dissertation is the study of polytopes arising from binary multi-way contingency tables and characteristic imsets for Bayesian networks.

Firstly, we study on three-way tables whose entries are independent Bernoulli ran- dom variables with canonical parameters under no three-way interaction generalized linear models. Here, we use the sequential importance sampling (SIS) method with the conditional Poisson (CP) distribution to sample binary three-way tables with the sufficient statistics, i.e., all two-way marginal sums, fixed. Compared with Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) approach with a Markov basis (MB), SIS procedure has the advantage that it does not require expensive or prohibitive pre-computations. Note that this problem can also be considered as estimating the number of lattice points inside the polytope defined by the zero-one and two-way marginal constraints. The theorems in Chapter 2 give the parameters for the CP distribution on each column when it is sampled. In this chapter, we also present the algorithms, the simulation results, and the results for Samson’s monks data.

Bayesian networks, a part of the family of probabilistic graphical models, are widely applied in many areas and much work has been done in model selections for Bayesian networks. The second part of this dissertation investigates the problem of finding the optimal graph by using characteristic imsets, where characteristic imsets are defined as 0-1 vector representations of Bayesian networks which are unique up to Markov equivalence. Characteristic imset polytopes are defined as the convex hull of all characteristic imsets we consider. It was proven that the problem of finding optimal Bayesian network for a specific dataset can be converted to a linear programming problem over the characteristic imset polytope [51]. In Chapter 3, we first consider characteristic imset polytopes for all diagnosis models and show that these polytopes are direct product of simplices. Then we give the combinatorial description of all edges and all facets of these polytopes. At the end of this chapter, we generalize these results to the characteristic imset polytopes for all Bayesian networks with a fixed underlying ordering of nodes.

Chapter 4 includes discussion and future work on these two topics.