- Keywords: Pairwise Models, Neural Networks, Inverse Ising, Energy Based Models
- TL;DR: Compositionality of Energy-Based Models allows combining physical prior knowledge and black-box approaches in a paradigmatic inference task.
- Abstract: Pairwise models like the Ising model or the generalized Potts model have found many successful applications in fields like physics, biology, and economics. Closely connected is the problem of inverse statistical mechanics, where the goal is to infer the parameters of such models given observed data. An open problem in this field is the question of how to train these models in the case where the data contain additional higher-order interactions that are not present in the pairwise model. In this work, we propose an approach based on Energy-Based Models and pseudolikelihood maximization to address these complications: we show that hybrid models, which combine a pairwise model and a neural network, can lead to significant improvements in the reconstruction of pairwise interactions. We show these improvements to hold consistently when compared to a standard approach using only the pairwise model and to an approach using only a neural network. This is in line with the general idea that simple interpretable models and complex black-box models are not necessarily a dichotomy: interpolating these two classes of models can allow to keep some advantages of both.