Scalable Importance Tempering and Bayesian Variable Selection

Giacomo Zanella, Bocconi University

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 3:30pm

We propose a Monte Carlo algorithm to sample from high-dimensional probability distributions that combines Markov chain Monte Carlo and importance sampling. We provide a careful theoretical analysis, including guarantees on robustness to high-dimensionality, explicit comparison with standard schemes and computational complexity statements. Simple and concrete intuition is provided for when the novel scheme is expected to outperform standard schemes. When applied to Bayesian variable selection problems, the novel algorithm is orders of magnitude more efficient than available alternative sampling schemes and allows to perform fast and reliable fully Bayesian inferences with tens of thousand regressors.

This is joint work with Gareth Roberts (Warwick)

Seminars generally take place in 116 Old Chemistry Building on Fridays from 3:30 - 4:30 pm. For additional information contact: 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 203B Old Chemistry.

Old Chemistry 116

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