Optimal projection to improve parametric importance sampling in high dimension

by   Maxime ElMasri, et al.

In this paper we propose a dimension-reduction strategy in order to improve the performance of importance sampling in high dimension. The idea is to estimate variance terms in a small number of suitably chosen directions. We first prove that the optimal directions, i.e., the ones that minimize the Kullback–Leibler divergence with the optimal auxiliary density, are the eigenvectors associated to extreme (small or large) eigenvalues of the optimal covariance matrix. We then perform extensive numerical experiments that show that as dimension increases, these directions give estimations which are very close to optimal. Moreover, we show that the estimation remains accurate even when a simple empirical estimator of the covariance matrix is used to estimate these directions. These theoretical and numerical results open the way for different generalizations, in particular the incorporation of such ideas in adaptive importance sampling schemes.



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