Finite Sample L_2 Bounds for Sequential Monte Carlo and Adaptive Path Selection

07/03/2018
by   Joseph Marion, et al.
0

We prove a bound on the finite sample error of sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) on static spaces using the L_2 distance between interpolating distributions and the mixing times of Markov kernels. This result is unique in that it is the first finite sample convergence result for SMC that does not require an upper bound on the importance weights. Using this bound we show that careful selection of the interpolating distributions can lead to substantial improvements in the computational complexity of the algorithm. This result also justifies the adaptive selection of SMC distributions using the relative effective sample size commonly used in the literature and we establish conditions guaranteeing the approximation accuracy of the adaptive SMC approach. We then demonstrate empirically that this procedure provides nearly-optimal sequences of distributions in an automatic fashion for realistic examples.

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