- Volume 20, Number 4 (2014), 2039-2075.
About the posterior distribution in hidden Markov models with unknown number of states
We consider finite state space stationary hidden Markov models (HMMs) in the situation where the number of hidden states is unknown. We provide a frequentist asymptotic evaluation of Bayesian analysis methods. Our main result gives posterior concentration rates for the marginal densities, that is for the density of a fixed number of consecutive observations. Using conditions on the prior, we are then able to define a consistent Bayesian estimator of the number of hidden states. It is known that the likelihood ratio test statistic for overfitted HMMs has a nonstandard behaviour and is unbounded. Our conditions on the prior may be seen as a way to penalize parameters to avoid this phenomenon. Inference of parameters is a much more difficult task than inference of marginal densities, we still provide a precise description of the situation when the observations are i.i.d. and we allow for $2$ possible hidden states.
Bernoulli, Volume 20, Number 4 (2014), 2039-2075.
First available in Project Euclid: 19 September 2014
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Gassiat, Elisabeth; Rousseau, Judith. About the posterior distribution in hidden Markov models with unknown number of states. Bernoulli 20 (2014), no. 4, 2039--2075. doi:10.3150/13-BEJ550. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.bj/1411134453