Approximate Weighted First-Order Model Counting: Exploiting Fast Approximate Model Counters and Symmetry
We study the symmetric weighted first-order model counting task and present ApproxWFOMC, a novel anytime method for efficiently bounding the weighted first-order model count in the presence of an unweighted first-order model counting oracle. The algorithm has applications to inference in a variety of first-order probabilistic representations, such as Markov logic networks and probabilistic logic programs. Crucially for many applications, we make no assumptions on the form of the input sentence. Instead, our algorithm makes use of the symmetry inherent in the problem by imposing cardinality constraints on the number of possible true groundings of a sentence's literals. Realising the first-order model counting oracle in practice using the approximate hashing-based model counter ApproxMC3, we show how our algorithm outperforms existing approximate and exact techniques for inference in first-order probabilistic models. We additionally provide PAC guarantees on the generated bounds.