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Title: Regression density estimation with variational methods and stochastic approximation
Authors: Nott, D.J. 
Tan, S.L.
Villan, M.
Kohn, R.
Keywords: Bayesian model selection
Mixtures of experts
Stochastic approximation
Variational bayes
Issue Date: 2012
Citation: Nott, D.J., Tan, S.L., Villan, M., Kohn, R. (2012). Regression density estimation with variational methods and stochastic approximation. Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics 21 (3) : 797-820. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Regression density estimation is the problem of flexibly estimating a response distribution as a function of covariates. An important approach to regression density estimation uses finite mixture models and our article considers flexible mixtures of heteroscedastic regression (MHR) models where the response distribution is a normal mixture, with the component means, variances, and mixture weights all varying as a function of covariates. Our article develops fast variational approximation (VA) methods for inference. Our motivation is that alternative computationally intensive Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for fitting mixture models are difficult to apply when it is desired to fit models repeatedly in exploratory analysis and model choice. Our article makes three contributions. First, a VA for MHR models is described where the variational lower bound is in closed form. Second, the basic approximation can be improved by using stochastic approximation (SA) methods to perturb the initial solution to attain higher accuracy. Third, the advantages of our approach for model choice and evaluation compared with MCMC-based approaches are illustrated. These advantages are particularly compelling for time series data where repeated refitting for one-stepahead prediction in model choice and diagnostics and in rolling-window computations is very common. Supplementary materials for the article are available online. 2012 American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and Interface Foundation of North America.
Source Title: Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics
ISSN: 10618600
DOI: 10.1080/10618600.2012.679897
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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