Factorial graphical lasso for dynamic networks

E. C. Wit, A. Abbruzzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic


Dynamic networks models describe a growing number of important scientific processes, from cell biology and epidemiology to sociology and finance. There are many aspects of dynamical networks that require statistical considerations. In this paper we focus on determining network structure. Estimating dynamic networks is a difficult task since the number of components involved in the system is very large. As a result, the number of parameters to be estimated is bigger than the number of observations. However, a characteristic of many networks is that they are sparse. For example, the molecular structure of genes make interactions with other components a highly-structured and therefore sparse process. Penalized Gaussian graphical models have been used to estimate sparse networks. However, the literature has focussed on static networks, which lack specific temporal constraints. We propose a structured Gaussian dynamical graphical model, where structures can consist of specific time dynamics, known presence or absence of links and block equality constraints on the parameters. Thus, the number of parameters to be estimated is reduced and accuracy of the estimates, including the identification of the network, can be tuned up. Here, we show that the constrained optimization problem can be solved by taking advantage of an efficient solver, logdetPPA, developed in convex optimization. Moreover, model selection methods for checking the sensitivity of the inferred networks are described. Finally, synthetic and real data illustrate the proposed methodologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2911
Publication statusPublished - 1-May-2012


  • Statistics - Methodology
  • Mathematics - Statistics Theory
  • Statistics - Applications
  • Statistics - Computation

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