11/18/2014

## Previously…

We introduced: Markov Chains, Monte Carlo simulation, Bootstrap method

## Today: Applications to Probability

Where the Bayesian revolution takes over: drawing from complex probability distributions

• rejection sampling
• The Metropolis algorithm
• General introduction to "Markov Chain Monte Carlo"

Optional reading: Geyer, Practical Markov Chain Monte Carlo'', Statistical Science 7 (1992): 473–483

## One-dimension probability distributions

We have [dpqr]{norm, binom, pois, …} for known distributions. For many good reasons, we'd like to be able to:

• draw from complex distributions
• find the solution to relevant integrals
• eventually, go to many higher dimensions

What's available?

## Integration by Simulation

Law of large numbers: if $$X_1, X_2, \ldots X_n$$ all IID with p.d.f. $$p$$,

$\frac{1}{n}\sum_{i=1}^{n}{f(X_i)} \rightarrow \mathbb{E}_{p}[f(X)] = \int{f(x) p(x) dx}$

The Monte Carlo principle: to find $$\int{g(x) dx}$$, draw from $$p$$ and take the sample mean of $$f(x) = g(x)/p(x)$$.

## And it works, too

Central limit theorem:

$\frac{1}{n}\sum_{i=1}^{n}{\frac{g(x_i)}{p(x_i)}} \rightsquigarrow \mathcal{N}\left(\int{g(x)dx}, \frac{\sigma^2_{g/p}}{n}\right)$

The Monte Carlo approximation to the integral is unbiased, with root mean square error $$\propto n^{-1/2}$$ – just keep taking Monte Carlo draws, and the error gets as small as you like, even if $$g$$ or $$x$$ are very complicated.

## Taking unknown samples

Generating from $$p$$ is easy if it's a standard distribution or we have a nice, invertible CDF (quantile method). What can we do if all we've got is the probability density function $$p$$?

Suppose the pdf $$f$$ is zero outside an interval $$[c,d]$$, and $$\leq M$$ on the interval. ## Rejection sampling

We know how to draw from uniform distributions in any dimension. Do it in two:

x1 <- runif(100000, 0, 1); y1 <- runif(100000, 0, 3);
selected <- y1 < dbeta(x1, 3, 6)