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Chain graph (CG) is a hybrid probabilistic graphical model (PGM) capable of modeling heterogeneous relationships among random variables. So far, however, its application in image and video analysis is very limited due to lack of principled learning and inference methods for a CG of general topology. To overcome this limitation, we introduce methods to extend the conventional chain-like CG model to CG model with more general topology and the associated methods for learning and inference in such a general CG model. Specifically, we propose techniques to systematically construct a generally structured CG, to parameterize this model, to derive its joint probability distribution, to perform joint parameter learning, and to perform probabilistic inference in this model. To demonstrate the utility of such an extended CG, we apply it to two challenging image and video analysis problems: human activity recognition and image segmentation. The experimental results show improved performance of the extended CG model over the conventional directed or undirected PGMs. This study demonstrates the promise of the extended CG for effective modeling and inference of complex real-world problems.