Results 1  10
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225
Exact Sampling with Coupled Markov Chains and Applications to Statistical Mechanics
, 1996
"... For many applications it is useful to sample from a finite set of objects in accordance with some particular distribution. One approach is to run an ergodic (i.e., irreducible aperiodic) Markov chain whose stationary distribution is the desired distribution on this set; after the Markov chain has ..."
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Cited by 548 (13 self)
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For many applications it is useful to sample from a finite set of objects in accordance with some particular distribution. One approach is to run an ergodic (i.e., irreducible aperiodic) Markov chain whose stationary distribution is the desired distribution on this set; after the Markov chain has run for M steps, with M sufficiently large, the distribution governing the state of the chain approximates the desired distribution. Unfortunately it can be difficult to determine how large M needs to be. We describe a simple variant of this method that determines on its own when to stop, and that outputs samples in exact accordance with the desired distribution. The method uses couplings, which have also played a role in other sampling schemes; however, rather than running the coupled chains from the present into the future, one runs from a distant point in the past up until the present, where the distance into the past that one needs to go is determined during the running of the al...
Markov chain monte carlo convergence diagnostics
 JASA
, 1996
"... A critical issue for users of Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods in applications is how to determine when it is safe to stop sampling and use the samples to estimate characteristics of the distribution of interest. Research into methods of computing theoretical convergence bounds holds promise ..."
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Cited by 367 (6 self)
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A critical issue for users of Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods in applications is how to determine when it is safe to stop sampling and use the samples to estimate characteristics of the distribution of interest. Research into methods of computing theoretical convergence bounds holds promise for the future but currently has yielded relatively little that is of practical use in applied work. Consequently, most MCMC users address the convergence problem by applying diagnostic tools to the output produced by running their samplers. After giving a brief overview of the area, we provide an expository review of thirteen convergence diagnostics, describing the theoretical basis and practical implementation of each. We then compare their performance in two simple models and conclude that all the methods can fail to detect the sorts of convergence failure they were designed to identify. We thus recommend a combination of strategies aimed at evaluating and accelerating MCMC sampler convergence, including applying diagnostic procedures to a small number of parallel chains, monitoring autocorrelations and crosscorrelations, and modifying parameterizations or sampling algorithms appropriately. We emphasize, however, that it is not possible to say with certainty that a finite sample from an MCMC algorithm is representative of an underlying stationary distribution. 1
Rates of convergence of the Hastings and Metropolis algorithms
 ANNALS OF STATISTICS
, 1996
"... We apply recent results in Markov chain theory to Hastings and Metropolis algorithms with either independent or symmetric candidate distributions, and provide necessary and sufficient conditions for the algorithms to converge at a geometric rate to a prescribed distribution ß. In the independence ca ..."
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Cited by 215 (17 self)
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We apply recent results in Markov chain theory to Hastings and Metropolis algorithms with either independent or symmetric candidate distributions, and provide necessary and sufficient conditions for the algorithms to converge at a geometric rate to a prescribed distribution ß. In the independence case (in IR k ) these indicate that geometric convergence essentially occurs if and only if the candidate density is bounded below by a multiple of ß; in the symmetric case (in IR only) we show geometric convergence essentially occurs if and only if ß has geometric tails. We also evaluate recently developed computable bounds on the rates of convergence in this context: examples show that these theoretical bounds can be inherently extremely conservative, although when the chain is stochastically monotone the bounds may well be effective.
General state space Markov chains and MCMC algorithm
 PROBABILITY SURVEYS
, 2004
"... This paper surveys various results about Markov chains on general (noncountable) state spaces. It begins with an introduction to Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms, which provide the motivation and context for the theory which follows. Then, sufficient conditions for geometric and uniform e ..."
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Cited by 190 (38 self)
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This paper surveys various results about Markov chains on general (noncountable) state spaces. It begins with an introduction to Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms, which provide the motivation and context for the theory which follows. Then, sufficient conditions for geometric and uniform ergodicity are presented, along with quantitative bounds on the rate of convergence to stationarity. Many of these results are proved using direct coupling constructions based on minorisation and drift conditions. Necessary and sufficient conditions for Central Limit Theorems (CLTs) are also presented, in some cases proved via the Poisson Equation or direct regeneration constructions. Finally, optimal scaling and weak convergence results for MetropolisHastings algorithms are discussed. None of the results presented is new, though many of the proofs are. We also describe some Open Problems.
Geometric Ergodicity and Hybrid Markov Chains
, 1997
"... Various notions of geometric ergodicity for Markov chains on general state spaces exist. In this paper, we review certain relations and implications among them. We then apply these results to a collection of chains commonly used in Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation algorithms, the socalled hybrid ..."
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Cited by 107 (29 self)
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Various notions of geometric ergodicity for Markov chains on general state spaces exist. In this paper, we review certain relations and implications among them. We then apply these results to a collection of chains commonly used in Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation algorithms, the socalled hybrid chains. We prove that under certain conditions, a hybrid chain will "inherit" the geometric ergodicity of its constituent parts. 1 Introduction A question of increasing importance in the Markov chain Monte Carlo literature (Gelfand and Smith, 1990; Smith and Roberts, 1993) is the issue of geometric ergodicity of Markov chains (Tierney, 1994, Section 3.2; Meyn and Tweedie, 1993, Chapters 15 and 16; Roberts and Tweedie, 1996). However, there are a number of different notions of the phrase "geometrically ergodic", depending on perspective (total variation distance vs. in L 2 ; with reference to a particular V function; etc.). One goal of this paper is to review and clarify the relationship...
Honest Exploration of Intractable Probability Distributions Via Markov Chain Monte Carlo
 STATISTICAL SCIENCE
, 2001
"... Two important questions that must be answered whenever a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm is used are (Q1) What is an appropriate burnin? and (Q2) How long should the sampling continue after burnin? Developing rigorous answers to these questions presently requires a detailed study of the ..."
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Cited by 106 (33 self)
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Two important questions that must be answered whenever a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithm is used are (Q1) What is an appropriate burnin? and (Q2) How long should the sampling continue after burnin? Developing rigorous answers to these questions presently requires a detailed study of the convergence properties of the underlying Markov chain. Consequently, in most practical applications of MCMC, exact answers to (Q1) and (Q2) are not sought. The goal of this paper is to demystify the analysis that leads to honest answers to (Q1) and (Q2). The authors hope that this article will serve as a bridge between those developing Markov chain theory and practitioners using MCMC to solve practical problems. The ability to formally address (Q1) and (Q2) comes from establishing a drift condition and an associated minorization condition, which together imply that the underlying Markov chain is geometrically ergodic. In this paper, we explain exactly what drift and minorization are as well as how and why these conditions can be used to form rigorous answers to (Q1) and (Q2). The basic ideas are as follows. The results of Rosenthal (1995) and Roberts and Tweedie (1999) allow one to use drift and minorization conditions to construct a formula giving an analytic upper bound on the distance to stationarity. A rigorous answer to (Q1) can be calculated using this formula. The desired characteristics of the target distribution are typically estimated using ergodic averages. Geometric ergodicity of the underlying Markov chain implies that there are central limit theorems available for ergodic averages (Chan and Geyer 1994). The regenerative simulation technique (Mykland, Tierney and Yu 1995, Robert 1995) can be used to get a consistent estimate of the variance of the asymptotic nor...
Exact sampling from a continuous state space, Scandinavian
 Journal of Statistics
, 1998
"... ABSTRACT. Propp & Wilson (1996) described a protocol, called coupling from the past, for exact sampling from a target distribution using a coupled Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. In this paper we extend coupling from the past to various MCMC samplers on a continuous state space; rather than ..."
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Cited by 101 (7 self)
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ABSTRACT. Propp & Wilson (1996) described a protocol, called coupling from the past, for exact sampling from a target distribution using a coupled Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithm. In this paper we extend coupling from the past to various MCMC samplers on a continuous state space; rather than following the monotone sampling device of Propp & Wilson, our approach uses methods related to gammacoupling and rejection sampling to simulate the chain, and direct accounting of sample paths.
FixedWidth Output Analysis for Markov Chain Monte Carlo
, 2005
"... Markov chain Monte Carlo is a method of producing a correlated sample in order to estimate features of a target distribution via ergodic averages. A fundamental question is when should sampling stop? That is, when are the ergodic averages good estimates of the desired quantities? We consider a metho ..."
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Cited by 98 (31 self)
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Markov chain Monte Carlo is a method of producing a correlated sample in order to estimate features of a target distribution via ergodic averages. A fundamental question is when should sampling stop? That is, when are the ergodic averages good estimates of the desired quantities? We consider a method that stops the simulation when the width of a confidence interval based on an ergodic average is less than a userspecified value. Hence calculating a Monte Carlo standard error is a critical step in assessing the simulation output. We consider the regenerative simulation and batch means methods of estimating the variance of the asymptotic normal distribution. We give sufficient conditions for the strong consistency of both methods and investigate their finite sample properties in a variety of examples.
On the Markov chain central limit theorem. Probability Surveys
, 2004
"... The goal of this mainly expository paper is to describe conditions which guarantee a central limit theorem for functionals of general state space Markov chains with a view towards Markov chain Monte Carlo settings. Thus the focus is on the connections between drift and mixing conditions and their im ..."
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Cited by 86 (15 self)
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The goal of this mainly expository paper is to describe conditions which guarantee a central limit theorem for functionals of general state space Markov chains with a view towards Markov chain Monte Carlo settings. Thus the focus is on the connections between drift and mixing conditions and their implications. In particular, we consider three commonly cited central limit theorems and discuss their relationship to classical results for mixing processes. Several motivating examples are given which range from toy onedimensional settings to complicated settings encountered in Markov chain Monte Carlo. 1
Geometric ergodicity of Metropolis algorithms
 STOCHASTIC PROCESSES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS
, 1998
"... In this paper we derive conditions for geometric ergodicity of the random walkbased Metropolis algorithm on R k . We show that at least exponentially light tails of the target density is a necessity. This extends the onedimensional result of (Mengersen and Tweedie, 1996). For subexponential targe ..."
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Cited by 85 (2 self)
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In this paper we derive conditions for geometric ergodicity of the random walkbased Metropolis algorithm on R k . We show that at least exponentially light tails of the target density is a necessity. This extends the onedimensional result of (Mengersen and Tweedie, 1996). For subexponential target densities we characterize the geometrically ergodic algorithms and we derive a practical sufficient condition which is stable under addition and multiplication. This condition is especially satisfied for the class of densities considered in (Roberts and Tweedie, 1996).