An invitation to sequential Monte Carlo samplers

07/23/2020 ∙ by Chenguang Dai, et al. ∙ 0

Sequential Monte Carlo samplers provide consistent approximations of sequences of probability distributions and of their normalizing constants, via particles obtained with a combination of importance weights and Markov transitions. This article presents this class of methods and a number of recent advances, with the goal of helping statisticians assess the applicability and usefulness of these methods for their purposes. Our presentation emphasizes the role of bridging distributions for computational and statistical purposes. Numerical experiments are provided on simple settings such as multivariate Normals, logistic regression and a basic susceptible-infected-recovered model, illustrating the impact of the dimension, the ability to perform inference sequentially and the estimation of normalizing constants.

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