The EM algorithm and its extensions are popular tools for modal estimation but are often criticised for their slow convergence. We propose a new method that can often make EM much faster. The intuitive idea is to use a 'covariance adjustment ' to correct the analysis of the M step, capitalising on extra information captured in the imputed complete data. The way we accomplish this is by parameter expansion; we expand the complete-data model while preserving the observed-data model and use the expanded complete-data model to generate EM. This parameter-expanded EM, PX-EM, algorithm shares the simplicity and stability of ordinary EM, but has a faster rate of convergence since its M step performs a more efficient analysis. The PX-EM algorithm is illustrated for the multivariate t distribution, a random effects model, factor analysis, probit regression and a Poisson imaging model
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