Title: MCMC algorithms for posteriors on matrix spaces
Authors: Kengo Kamatani - ISM (Japan) [presenting]
Alexandros Beskos - University College London (United Kingdom)
Abstract: Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms are studied for target distributions defined on matrix spaces. Such an important sampling problem has yet to be analytically explored. We carry out a major step in covering this gap by developing the proper theoretical framework that allows for the identification of ergodicity properties of typical MCMC algorithms, relevant in such a context. Beyond the standard Random-Walk Metropolis (RWM) and preconditioned Crank--Nicolson (pCN), a novel algorithm, termed the `Mixed' pCN (MpCN), is developed. RWM and pCN are shown not to be geometrically ergodic for an important class of matrix distributions with heavy tails. In contrast, MpCN has very good empirical performance within this class. Geometric ergodicity for MpCN is not fully proven, as some remaining drift conditions are quite challenging to obtain owing to the complexity of the state space. We do, however, make a lot of progress towards a proof, and show in detail the last steps left for future work. We illustrate the computational performance of the various algorithms through simulation studies, first for the trivial case of an Inverse-Wishart target, and then for a challenging model arising in financial statistics.