Bayesian Networks : With Examples in R book cover
2nd Edition

Bayesian Networks
With Examples in R

ISBN 9780367366513
Published July 29, 2021 by Chapman & Hall
274 Pages

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Book Description

Bayesian Networks: With Examples in R, Second Edition introduces Bayesian networks using a hands-on approach. Simple yet meaningful examples illustrate each step of the modelling process and discuss side by side the underlying theory and its application using R code. The examples start from the simplest notions and gradually increase in complexity. In particular, this new edition contains significant new material on topics from modern machine-learning practice: dynamic networks, networks with heterogeneous variables, and model validation.

The first three chapters explain the whole process of Bayesian network modelling, from structure learning to parameter learning to inference. These chapters cover discrete, Gaussian, and conditional Gaussian Bayesian networks. The following two chapters delve into dynamic networks (to model temporal data) and into networks including arbitrary random variables (using Stan). The book then gives a concise but rigorous treatment of the fundamentals of Bayesian networks and offers an introduction to causal Bayesian networks. It also presents an overview of R packages and other software implementing Bayesian networks. The final chapter evaluates two real-world examples: a landmark causal protein-signalling network published in Science and a probabilistic graphical model for predicting the composition of different body parts.

Covering theoretical and practical aspects of Bayesian networks, this book provides you with an introductory overview of the field. It gives you a clear, practical understanding of the key points behind this modelling approach and, at the same time, it makes you familiar with the most relevant packages used to implement real-world analyses in R. The examples covered in the book span several application fields, data-driven models and expert systems, probabilistic and causal perspectives, thus giving you a starting point to work in a variety of scenarios.

Online supplementary materials include the data sets and the code used in the book, which will all be made available from

Table of Contents

1. The Discrete Case: Multinomial Bayesian Networks. 2. The Discrete Case: Multinomial Bayesian Networks. 3. The Mixed Case: Conditional Gaussian Bayesian Networks. 4. Time Series: Dynamic Bayesian Networks. 5. More Complex Cases: General Bayesian Networks. 6. Theory and Algorithms for Bayesian Networks. 7. Software for Bayesian Networks. 8. Real-World Applications of Bayesian Networks.

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Marco Scutari is a Senior Lecturer at Istituto Dalle Molle di Studisull'Intelligenza Artificiale (IDSIA), Switzerland. He has held positions in Statistics, Statistical Genetics and Machine Learning in the UK and Switzerland since completing his Ph.D. in Statistics in 2011. His research focuses on the theory of Bayesian networks and their applications to biological and clinical data, as well as statistical computing and software engineering.

Jean-Baptiste Denis was formerly appointed as a statistician and modeller at the "Mathematics and Applied Informatics from Genome to Environment" unit of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment. His main research interests were the modelling of two-way tables and Bayesian approaches, especially applied to genotype-by-environment interactions and microbiological food safety.


"The book has a practice-oriented, hands-on approach with R codes and outputs, clear examples, relevant exercises to elucidate the main concepts (with solutions included at the end). [...] Statisticians, data scientists and other researchers new to Bayesian networks might also find it valuable and interesting."
-Anikó Lovik in ISCB News, June 2022

Praise for the first edition:

"… an excellent introduction to Bayesian networks with detailed user-friendly examples and computer-aided illustrations. I enjoyed reading Bayesian Networks: With Examples in R and think that the book will serve very well as an introductory textbook for graduate students, non-statisticians, and practitioners in Bayesian networks and the related areas."
Biometrics, September 2015

"Several excellent books about learning and reasoning with Bayesian networks are available and Bayesian Networks: With Examples in R provides a useful addition to this list. The book is usually easy to read, rich in examples that are described in great detail, and also provides several exercises with solutions that can be valuable to students. The book also provides an introduction to topics that are not covered in detail in existing books … . It also provides a good list of search algorithms for learning Bayesian network structures. But the major strength of the book is the simplicity that makes it particularly suitable to students with sufficient background in probability and statistical theory, particularly Bayesian statistics."
Journal of the American Statistical Association, June 2015