Probabilistic programming language
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (December 2014)|
A probabilistic programming language (PPL) is a programming language designed to describe probabilistic models and then perform inference in those models. PPLs are closely related to graphical models and Bayesian networks, but are more expressive and flexible. Probabilistic programming represents an attempt to "[unify] general purpose programming with probabilistic modeling." 
Probabilistic reasoning is a foundational technology of machine learning. It is used by companies such as Google, Amazon.com and Microsoft. Probabilistic reasoning has been used for predicting stock prices, recommending movies, diagnosing computers, detecting cyber intrusions or image detection.
PPLs often extend from a basic language. The choice of underlying basic language depends on the similarity of the model to the basic language's ontology, as well as commercial considerations and personal preference. For instance, Dimple and Chimple are based on Java, Infer.NET is based on .NET framework, while PRISM extends from Prolog. However, some PPLs such as WinBUGS and Stan offer a self-contained language, with no obvious origin in another language.
Several PPLs are in active development, including some that in beta test.
A probabilistic relational programming language (PRPL) is a PPL specially designed to describe and infer with probabilistic relational models (PRMs).
A PRM is usually developed with a set of algorithms for reducing, inference about and discovery of concerned distributions, which are embedded into the corresponding PRPL.
Probabilistic programming creates systems that help make decisions in the face of uncertainty. Probabilistic reasoning combines knowledge of a situation with the laws of probability. Until recently, probabilistic reasoning systems have been limited in scope, and have not successfully addressed real world situations. Probabilistic programming is a new approach that makes probabilistic reasoning systems easier to build and more widely applicable.
In 2015 PPL a 50-line Picture program was used to generate 3D models of human faces based on 2D images of those faces. The approach used inverse graphics as the basis of its inferencing.
List of probabilistic programming languages
|Name||Extends from||Host language|
|Infer.NET||.NET Framework||.NET Framework|
|BAli-Phy (software) ||Haskell||C++|
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