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A unified performance analysis of likelihood-informed subspace methods

01/07/2021
by   Tiangang Cui, et al.
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The likelihood-informed subspace (LIS) method offers a viable route to reducing the dimensionality of high-dimensional probability distributions arisen in Bayesian inference. LIS identifies an intrinsic low-dimensional linear subspace where the target distribution differs the most from some tractable reference distribution. Such a subspace can be identified using the leading eigenvectors of a Gram matrix of the gradient of the log-likelihood function. Then, the original high-dimensional target distribution is approximated through various forms of ridge approximations of the likelihood function, in which the approximated likelihood only has support on the intrinsic low-dimensional subspace. This approximation enables the design of inference algorithms that can scale sub-linearly with the apparent dimensionality of the problem. Intuitively, the accuracy of the approximation, and hence the performance of the inference algorithms, are influenced by three factors – the dimension truncation error in identifying the subspace, Monte Carlo error in estimating the Gram matrices, and Monte Carlo error in constructing ridge approximations. This work establishes a unified framework to analysis each of these three factors and their interplay. Under mild technical assumptions, we establish error bounds for a range of existing dimension reduction techniques based on the principle of LIS. Our error bounds also provide useful insights into the accuracy comparison of these methods. In addition, we analyze the integration of LIS with sampling methods such as Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and sequential Monte Carlo (SMC). We also demonstrate our analyses on a linear inverse problem with Gaussian prior, which shows that all the estimates can be dimension-independent if the prior covariance is a trace-class operator.

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