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March 2017 Adapting the ABC Distance Function
Dennis Prangle
Bayesian Anal. 12(1): 289-309 (March 2017). DOI: 10.1214/16-BA1002


Approximate Bayesian computation performs approximate inference for models where likelihood computations are expensive or impossible. Instead simulations from the model are performed for various parameter values and accepted if they are close enough to the observations. There has been much progress on deciding which summary statistics of the data should be used to judge closeness, but less work on how to weight them. Typically weights are chosen at the start of the algorithm which normalise the summary statistics to vary on similar scales. However these may not be appropriate in iterative ABC algorithms, where the distribution from which the parameters are proposed is updated. This can substantially alter the resulting distribution of summary statistics, so that different weights are needed for normalisation. This paper presents two iterative ABC algorithms which adaptively update their weights and demonstrates improved results on test applications.


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Dennis Prangle. "Adapting the ABC Distance Function." Bayesian Anal. 12 (1) 289 - 309, March 2017.


Published: March 2017
First available in Project Euclid: 14 April 2016

zbMATH: 1384.62098
MathSciNet: MR3620131
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/16-BA1002

Keywords: likelihood-free inference , Lotka–Volterra , population Monte Carlo , quantile distributions


Vol.12 • No. 1 • March 2017
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