An empirical Bayes approach to identification of modules in dynamic networks

N. Everitt, G. Bottegal, H. Hjalmarsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


We present a new method of identifying a specific module in a dynamic network, possibly with feedback loops. Assuming known topology, we express the dynamics by an acyclic network composed of two blocks where the first block accounts for the relation between the known reference signals and the input to the target module, while the second block contains the target module. Using an empirical Bayes approach, we model the first block as a Gaussian vector with covariance matrix (kernel) given by the recently introduced stable spline kernel. The parameters of the target module are estimated by solving a marginal likelihood problem with a novel iterative scheme based on the Expectation–Maximization algorithm. Additionally, we extend the method to include additional measurements downstream of the target module. Using Markov Chain Monte Carlo techniques, it is shown that the same iterative scheme can solve also this formulation. Numerical experiments illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-151
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Dynamic network
  • Empirical Bayes
  • Expectation–maximization
  • System identification


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