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The hierarchical Bayesian optimization algorithm (hBOA) can solve nearly decomposable and hierarchical problems of bounded difficulty in a robust and scalable manner by building and sampling probabilistic models of promising solutions. This paper analyzes probabilistic models in hBOA on two common test problems: concatenated traps and 2D Ising spin glasses with periodic boundary conditions. We argue that although Bayesian networks with local structures can encode complex probability distributions, analyzing these models in hBOA is relatively straightforward and the results of such analyses may provide practitioners with useful information about their problems. The results show that the probabilistic models in hBOA closely correspond to the structure of the underlying optimization problem, the models do not change significantly in subsequent iterations of BOA, and creating adequate probabilistic models by hand is not straightforward even with complete knowledge of the optimization problem.
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