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Concept# Markov model

Summary

In probability theory, a Markov model is a stochastic model used to model pseudo-randomly changing systems. It is assumed that future states depend only on the current state, not on the events that occurred before it (that is, it assumes the Markov property). Generally, this assumption enables reasoning and computation with the model that would otherwise be intractable. For this reason, in the fields of predictive modelling and probabilistic forecasting, it is desirable for a given model to exhibit the Markov property.
There are four common Markov models used in different situations, depending on whether every sequential state is observable or not, and whether the system is to be adjusted on the basis of observations made:
Markov chain
The simplest Markov model is the Markov chain. It models the state of a system with a random variable that changes through time. In this context, the Markov property suggests that the distribution for this variable depends only on the distribution of a previous state. An example use of a Markov chain is Markov chain Monte Carlo, which uses the Markov property to prove that a particular method for performing a random walk will sample from the joint distribution.
Hidden Markov model
A hidden Markov model is a Markov chain for which the state is only partially observable or noisily observable. In other words, observations are related to the state of the system, but they are typically insufficient to precisely determine the state. Several well-known algorithms for hidden Markov models exist. For example, given a sequence of observations, the Viterbi algorithm will compute the most-likely corresponding sequence of states, the forward algorithm will compute the probability of the sequence of observations, and the Baum–Welch algorithm will estimate the starting probabilities, the transition function, and the observation function of a hidden Markov model.
One common use is for speech recognition, where the observed data is the speech audio waveform and the hidden state is the spoken text.

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A Markov chain or Markov process is a stochastic model describing a sequence of possible events in which the probability of each event depends only on the state attained in the previous event. Informally, this may be thought of as, "What happens next depends only on the state of affairs now." A countably infinite sequence, in which the chain moves state at discrete time steps, gives a discrete-time Markov chain (DTMC). A continuous-time process is called a continuous-time Markov chain (CTMC).

A hidden Markov model (HMM) is a statistical Markov model in which the system being modeled is assumed to be a Markov process — call it — with unobservable ("hidden") states. As part of the definition, HMM requires that there be an observable process whose outcomes are "influenced" by the outcomes of in a known way.

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