Electronic Journal of Statistics

Hierarchical Gaussian graphical models: Beyond reversible jump

Yuan Cheng and Alex Lenkoski

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The Gaussian Graphical Model (GGM) is a popular tool for incorporating sparsity into joint multivariate distributions. The G-Wishart distribution, a conjugate prior for precision matrices satisfying general GGM constraints, has now been in existence for over a decade. However, due to the lack of a direct sampler, its use has been limited in hierarchical Bayesian contexts, relegating mixing over the class of GGMs mostly to situations involving standard Gaussian likelihoods. Recent work has developed methods that couple model and parameter moves, first through reversible jump methods and later by direct evaluation of conditional Bayes factors and subsequent resampling. Further, methods for avoiding prior normalizing constant calculations–a serious bottleneck and source of numerical instability–have been proposed. We review and clarify these developments and then propose a new methodology for GGM comparison that blends many recent themes. Theoretical developments and computational timing experiments reveal an algorithm that has limited computational demands and dramatically improves on computing times of existing methods. We conclude by developing a parsimonious multivariate stochastic volatility model that embeds GGM uncertainty in a larger hierarchical framework. The method is shown to be capable of adapting to swings in market volatility, offering improved calibration of predictive distributions.

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Electron. J. Statist., Volume 6 (2012), 2309-2331.

First available in Project Euclid: 30 November 2012

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Gaussian graphical models G-Wishart distribution conditional Bayes factors exchange algorithms


Cheng, Yuan; Lenkoski, Alex. Hierarchical Gaussian graphical models: Beyond reversible jump. Electron. J. Statist. 6 (2012), 2309--2331. doi:10.1214/12-EJS746. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.ejs/1354284421

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