The expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm with split-and-merge operations (SMEM algorithm) proposed by Ueda, Nakano, Ghahramani, and Hinton (2000) is a nonlocal searching method, applicable to mixture models, for relaxing the local optimum property of the EM algorithm. In this article, we point out that the SMEM algorithm uses the acceptance-rejection evaluation method, which may pick up a distribution with smaller likelihood, and demonstrate that an increase in likelihood can then be guaranteed only by comparing log likelihoods.

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