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Optimal scaling of the independence sampler: theory and practice

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2/02/2018
<mark>Journal</mark>Bernoulli
Issue number3
Volume24
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)1636-1652
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The independence sampler is one of the most commonly used MCMC algorithms usually as a component of a Metropolis-within-Gibbs algorithm. The common focus for the independence sampler is on the choice of proposal distribution to obtain an as high as possible acceptance rate. In this paper we have a somewhat different focus concentrating on the use of the independence sampler for updating augmented data in a Bayesian framework where a natural proposal distribution for the independence sampler exists. Thus we concentrate on the proportion of the augmented data to update to optimise the independence sampler. Generic guidelines for optimising the independence sampler are obtained for independent and identically distributed product densities mirroring findings for the random walk Metropolis algorithm. The generic guidelines are shown to be informative beyond the narrow confines of idealised product densities in two epidemic examples.