Estimating and Calibrating Markov Chain Sample Error Variance

  •  Yann Vestring    
  •  Javad Tavakoli    


Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods are a powerful and versatile tool with applications spanning a wide spectrum of fields, including Bayesian inference, computational biology, and physics. One of the key challenges in applying MCMC algorithms is to deal with estimation error. The main result in this article is a closed form, non-asymptotic solution for the sample error variance of a single MCMC  estimate. Importantly, this result assumes that the state-space is finite and discrete. We demonstrate with examples how this result can help estimate and calibrate MCMC estimation error variance in the more general case, when the state-space is continuous and/or unbounded.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1927-7032
  • ISSN(Online): 1927-7040
  • Started: 2012
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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