Han Cheng Lie, Aretha Teckentrup, and I have just a preprint of our latest article, “Random forward models and log-likelihoods in Bayesian inverse problems”, to the arXiv. This paper considers the effect of approximating the likelihood in a Bayesian inverse problem by a random surrogate, as frequently happens in applications, with the aim of showing that the perturbed posterior distribution is close to the exact one in a suitable sense. This article considers general randomisation models, and thereby expands upon the previous investigations of Stuart and Teckentrup (2017) in the Gaussian setting.
Abstract. We consider the use of randomised forward models and log-likelihoods within the Bayesian approach to inverse problems. Such random approximations to the exact forward model or log-likelihood arise naturally when a computationally expensive model is approximated using a cheaper stochastic surrogate, as in Gaussian process emulation (kriging), or in the field of probabilistic numerical methods. We show that the Hellinger distance between the exact and approximate Bayesian posteriors is bounded by moments of the difference between the true and approximate log-likelihoods. Example applications of these stability results are given for randomised misfit models in large data applications and the probabilistic solution of ordinary differential equations.
Han Cheng Lie and I have just uploaded a preprint of our latest paper, “Equivalence of weak and strong modes of measures on topological vector spaces”, to the arXiv. This addresses a natural question in the theory of modes (or maximum a posteriori estimators, in the case of posterior measure for a Bayesian inverse problem) in infinite-dimensional spaces, which are defined either strongly (a la Dashti et al. (2013), via a global maximisation) or weakly (a la Helin & Burger (2015), via a dense subspace): when are strong and weak modes equivalent?
Abstract. Modes of a probability measure on an infinite-dimensional Banach space \(X\) are often defined by maximising the small-radius limit of the ratio of measures of norm balls. Helin and Burger weakened the definition of such modes by considering only balls with centres in proper subspaces of \(X\), and posed the question of when this restricted notion coincides with the unrestricted one. We generalise these definitions to modes of arbitrary measures on topological vector spaces, defined by arbitrary bounded, convex, neighbourhoods of the origin. We show that a coincident limiting ratios condition is a necessary and sufficient condition for the equivalence of these two types of modes, and show that the coincident limiting ratios condition is satisfied in a wide range of topological vector spaces.
The final version of “Well-posed Bayesian inverse problems and heavy-tailed stable quasi-Banach space priors” has now been published online in Inverse Problems and Imaging; the print version will be available in October.
From 29 August–1 September 2017, the Alan Turing Institute will host a summer school on Mathematical Aspects of Inverse Problems organised by Claudia Schillings (Mannheim) and Aretha Teckentrup (Edinburgh and Alan Turing Institute), two of my former colleagues at the University of Warwick. The invited lecturers are:
- Masoumeh Dashti (Sussex): Bayesian Approach to Inverse Problems
- Michela Ottobre (Maxwell Institute, Edinburgh): Hamiltonian Monte Carlo
- Carola-Bibiane Schönlieb and Clarice Poon (Cambridge): A Comparison of Variational Methods and Deep Neural Networks for Inverse Problems
- Alison Fowler (Reading): The Value of Observations for Numerical Weather Prediction
Jon Cockayne, Chris Oates, Mark Girolami and I have just had our paper “Probabilistic numerical methods for PDE-constrained Bayesian inverse problems” published in the Proceedings of the 36th International Workshop on Bayesian Inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering. This paper complements our more extensive work “Probabilistic meshless methods for partial differential equations and Bayesian inverse problems” and gives a more concise presentation of the main ideas, aimed at a general audience.
J. Cockayne, C. Oates, T. J. Sullivan & M. Girolami. “Probabilistic Numerical Methods for PDE-constrained Bayesian Inverse Problems” in Proceedings of the 36th International Workshop on Bayesian Inference and Maximum Entropy Methods in Science and Engineering, ed. G. Verdoolaege. AIP Conference Proceedings 1853:060001-1–060001-8, 2017. doi:10.1063/1.4985359