L. K. Saul, T. Jaakkola and M. I. Jordan (1996) "Mean Field Theory for Sigmoid Belief Networks", Volume 4, pages 61-76

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We develop a mean field theory for sigmoid belief networks based on ideas from statistical mechanics. Our mean field theory provides a tractable approximation to the true probability distribution in these networks; it also yields a lower bound on the likelihood of evidence. We demonstrate the utility of this framework on a benchmark problem in statistical pattern recognition---the classification of handwritten digits.

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