The Annals of Statistics

Asymptotically optimal parameter estimation under communication constraints

Georgios Fellouris

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A parameter estimation problem is considered, in which dispersed sensors transmit to the statistician partial information regarding their observations. The sensors observe the paths of continuous semimartingales, whose drifts are linear with respect to a common parameter. A novel estimating scheme is suggested, according to which each sensor transmits only one-bit messages at stopping times of its local filtration. The proposed estimator is shown to be consistent and, for a large class of processes, asymptotically optimal, in the sense that its asymptotic distribution is the same as the exact distribution of the optimal estimator that has full access to the sensor observations. These properties are established under an asymptotically low rate of communication between the sensors and the statistician. Thus, despite being asymptotically efficient, the proposed estimator requires minimal transmission activity, which is a desirable property in many applications. Finally, the case of discrete sampling at the sensors is studied when their underlying processes are independent Brownian motions.

Article information

Ann. Statist., Volume 40, Number 4 (2012), 2239-2265.

First available in Project Euclid: 23 January 2013

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Mathematical Reviews number (MathSciNet)

Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 62L12: Sequential estimation 62F30: Inference under constraints
Secondary: 62F12: Asymptotic properties of estimators 62M05: Markov processes: estimation 62M09: Non-Markovian processes: estimation

Asymptotic optimality communication constraints decentralized estimation quantization random sampling sequential estimation semimartingale


Fellouris, Georgios. Asymptotically optimal parameter estimation under communication constraints. Ann. Statist. 40 (2012), no. 4, 2239--2265. doi:10.1214/12-AOS1035.

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