251 research outputs found

    Central Limit Theorem and convergence to stable laws in Mallows distance

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    We give a new proof of the classical Central Limit Theorem, in the Mallows (LrL^r-Wasserstein) distance. Our proof is elementary in the sense that it does not require complex analysis, but rather makes use of a simple subadditive inequality related to this metric. The key is to analyse the case where equality holds. We provide some results concerning rates of convergence. We also consider convergence to stable distributions, and obtain a bound on the rate of such convergence.Comment: 21 pages; improved version - one result strengthened, exposition improved, paper to appear in Bernoull

    Theoretical properties of the log-concave maximum likelihood estimator of a multidimensional density

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    We present theoretical properties of the log-concave maximum likelihood estimator of a density based on an independent and identically distributed sample in Rd\mathbb{R}^d. Our study covers both the case where the true underlying density is log-concave, and where this model is misspecified. We begin by showing that for a sequence of log-concave densities, convergence in distribution implies much stronger types of convergence -- in particular, it implies convergence in Hellinger distance and even in certain exponentially weighted total variation norms. In our main result, we prove the existence and uniqueness of a log-concave density that minimises the Kullback--Leibler divergence from the true density over the class all log-concave densities, and also show that the log-concave maximum likelihood estimator converges almost surely in these exponentially weighted total variation norms to this minimiser. In the case of a correctly specified model, this demonstrates a strong type of consistency for the estimator; in a misspecified model, it shows that the estimator converges to the log-concave density that is closest in the Kullback--Leibler sense to the true density.Comment: 20 pages, 0 figure

    Efficient two-sample functional estimation and the super-oracle phenomenon

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    We consider the estimation of two-sample integral functionals, of the type that occur naturally, for example, when the object of interest is a divergence between unknown probability densities. Our first main result is that, in wide generality, a weighted nearest neighbour estimator is efficient, in the sense of achieving the local asymptotic minimax lower bound. Moreover, we also prove a corresponding central limit theorem, which facilitates the construction of asymptotically valid confidence intervals for the functional, having asymptotically minimal width. One interesting consequence of our results is the discovery that, for certain functionals, the worst-case performance of our estimator may improve on that of the natural `oracle' estimator, which is given access to the values of the unknown densities at the observations.Comment: 82 page

    Asymptotics and optimal bandwidth selection for highest density region estimation

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    We study kernel estimation of highest-density regions (HDR). Our main contributions are two-fold. First, we derive a uniform-in-bandwidth asymptotic approximation to a risk that is appropriate for HDR estimation. This approximation is then used to derive a bandwidth selection rule for HDR estimation possessing attractive asymptotic properties. We also present the results of numerical studies that illustrate the benefits of our theory and methodology.Comment: Published in at http://dx.doi.org/10.1214/09-AOS766 the Annals of Statistics (http://www.imstat.org/aos/) by the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (http://www.imstat.org

    A useful variant of the Davis--Kahan theorem for statisticians

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    The Davis--Kahan theorem is used in the analysis of many statistical procedures to bound the distance between subspaces spanned by population eigenvectors and their sample versions. It relies on an eigenvalue separation condition between certain relevant population and sample eigenvalues. We present a variant of this result that depends only on a population eigenvalue separation condition, making it more natural and convenient for direct application in statistical contexts, and improving the bounds in some cases. We also provide an extension to situations where the matrices under study may be asymmetric or even non-square, and where interest is in the distance between subspaces spanned by corresponding singular vectors.Comment: 12 page

    Importance Tempering

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    Simulated tempering (ST) is an established Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method for sampling from a multimodal density π(θ)\pi(\theta). Typically, ST involves introducing an auxiliary variable kk taking values in a finite subset of [0,1][0,1] and indexing a set of tempered distributions, say πk(θ)π(θ)k\pi_k(\theta) \propto \pi(\theta)^k. In this case, small values of kk encourage better mixing, but samples from π\pi are only obtained when the joint chain for (θ,k)(\theta,k) reaches k=1k=1. However, the entire chain can be used to estimate expectations under π\pi of functions of interest, provided that importance sampling (IS) weights are calculated. Unfortunately this method, which we call importance tempering (IT), can disappoint. This is partly because the most immediately obvious implementation is na\"ive and can lead to high variance estimators. We derive a new optimal method for combining multiple IS estimators and prove that the resulting estimator has a highly desirable property related to the notion of effective sample size. We briefly report on the success of the optimal combination in two modelling scenarios requiring reversible-jump MCMC, where the na\"ive approach fails.Comment: 16 pages, 2 tables, significantly shortened from version 4 in response to referee comments, to appear in Statistics and Computin