Enabling likelihood-based inference for complex and dependent

Friday, January 19, 2018 - 3:30pm

Speaker(s): 
Jason Xu, UCLA

Abstract: 

The likelihood function is central to many statistical procedures, but poses challenges in classical and modern data settings. Motivated by emergent cell lineage tracking experiments to study blood cell production, we present recent methodology enabling likelihood-based inference for partially observed data arising from continuous-time stochastic processes with countable state space. These computational advances allow principled procedures such as maximum likelihood estimation, posterior inference, and expectation-maximization (EM) algorithms in previously intractable data settings. We then discuss limitations and alternatives when data are very large or generated from a hidden process, and address some of the remaining challenges using optimization. We highlight majorization-minimization (MM) algorithms, a generalization of EM, showcasing their merits and breadth on related problems including likelihood-based approaches for sparse and low-rank estimation.

Seminars generally take place in 116 Old Chemistry Building on Fridays from 3:30 - 4:30 pm. For additional information contact: karen.whitesell@duke.edu or phone 919-684-8029. Sorry, but we do not have reprints available. Please feel free to contact the authors by email for follow-up information, articles, etc. Reception following seminar in 211 Old Chemistry

Old Chemistry 116

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