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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Particle Markov chain Monte Carlo Holenstein, Roman


Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) methods have emerged as the two main tools to sample from high-dimensional probability distributions. Although asymptotic convergence of MCMC algorithms is ensured under weak assumptions, the performance of these latters is unreliable when the proposal distributions used to explore the space are poorly chosen and/or if highly correlated variables are updated independently. In this thesis we propose a new Monte Carlo framework in which we build efficient high-dimensional proposal distributions using SMC methods. This allows us to design effective MCMC algorithms in complex scenarios where standard strategies fail. We demonstrate these algorithms on a number of example problems, including simulated tempering, nonlinear non-Gaussian state-space model, and protein folding.

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