Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Almost all fields of science rely upon statistical inference to estimate unknown parameters in theoretical and computational models. While the performance of modern computer hardware continues to grow, the computational requirements for the simulation of models are growing even faster. This is largely due to the increase in model complexity, often including stochastic dynamics, that is necessary to describe and characterize phenomena observed using modern, high resolution, experimental techniques. Such models are rarely analytically tractable, meaning that extremely large numbers of stochastic simulations are required for parameter inference. In such cases, parameter inference can be practically impossible. In this work, we present new computational Bayesian techniques that accelerate inference for expensive stochastic models by using computationally inexpensive approximations to inform feasible regions in parameter space, and through learning transforms that adjust the biased approximate inferences to closer represent the correct inferences under the expensive stochastic model. Using topical examples from ecology and cell biology, we demonstrate a speed improvement of an order of magnitude without any loss in accuracy. This represents a substantial improvement over current state-of-the-art methods for Bayesian computations when appropriate model approximations are available.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics

Publication Date

29/06/2021

Keywords

q-bio.CB, q-bio.MN, stat.CO