B-CONCORD – A scalable Bayesian high-dimensional precision matrix estimation procedure

05/18/2020 ∙ by Peyman Jalali, et al. ∙ 0

Sparse estimation of the precision matrix under high-dimensional scaling constitutes a canonical problem in statistics and machine learning. Numerous regression and likelihood based approaches, many frequentist and some Bayesian in nature have been developed. Bayesian methods provide direct uncertainty quantification of the model parameters through the posterior distribution and thus do not require a second round of computations for obtaining debiased estimates of the model parameters and their confidence intervals. However, they are computationally expensive for settings involving more than 500 variables. To that end, we develop B-CONCORD for the problem at hand, a Bayesian analogue of the CONvex CORrelation selection methoD (CONCORD) introduced by Khare et al. (2015). B-CONCORD leverages the CONCORD generalized likelihood function together with a spike-and-slab prior distribution to induce sparsity in the precision matrix parameters. We establish model selection and estimation consistency under high-dimensional scaling; further, we develop a procedure that refits only the non-zero parameters of the precision matrix, leading to significant improvements in the estimates in finite samples. Extensive numerical work illustrates the computational scalability of the proposed approach vis-a-vis competing Bayesian methods, as well as its accuracy.



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