Bayesian Approximations to Hidden Semi-Markov Models

06/16/2020 ∙ by Beniamino Hadj-Amar, et al. ∙ 0

We propose a Bayesian hidden Markov model for analyzing time series and sequential data where a special structure of the transition probability matrix is embedded to model explicit-duration semi-Markovian dynamics. Our formulation allows for the development of highly flexible and interpretable models that can integrate available prior information on state durations while keeping a moderate computational cost to perform efficient posterior inference. We show the benefits of choosing a Bayesian approach over its frequentist counterpart, in terms of incorporation of prior information, quantification of uncertainty, model selection and out-of-sample forecasting. The use of our methodology is illustrated in an application relevant to e-Health, where we investigate rest-activity rhythms using telemetric activity data collected via a wearable sensing device.

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