This thesis is concerned with characterizing the quality of Hidden Markov modeling when learning from limited data. It introduces a new perspective on different sources of errors to describe the impact of undermodeling. Our view is that modeling errors can be decomposed into two primary sources of errors: the approximation error and the estimation error. This thesis takes a first step towards exploring the approximation error of low order HMMs that best approximate the true system of a HMM. We introduce the notion minimality and show that best approximations of the true system with complexity greater or equal to the order of a minimal system are actually equivalent realizations. Understanding this further allows us to explore integer lumping and to present a new way named weighted lumping to find realizations. We also show that best approximations of order strictly less than that of a minimal realization are truly approximations; they are incapable of mimicking the true system exactly. Our work then proves that the resulting approximation error is non-decreasing as the model order decreases, verifying the intuitive idea that increasingly simplified models are less and less descriptive of the true system.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Computer Science
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Lei, Lei, "Markov Approximations: The Characterization of Undermodeling Errors" (2006). Theses and Dissertations. 517.
Hidden Markov model, dynamic system, aggregation, lumping, realization, approximation, minimal system