Integration in Computer Experiments and Bayesian Analysis
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Mathematical models are commonly used in science and industry to simulate complex physical processes. These models are implemented by computer codes which are often complex. For this reason, the codes are also expensive in terms of computation time, and this limits the number of simulations in an experiment. The codes are also deterministic, which means that output from a code has no measurement error. <br /><br /> One modelling approach in dealing with deterministic output from computer experiments is to assume that the output is composed of a drift component and systematic errors, which are stationary Gaussian stochastic processes. A Bayesian approach is desirable as it takes into account all sources of model uncertainty. Apart from prior specification, one of the main challenges in a complete Bayesian model is integration. We take a Bayesian approach with a Jeffreys prior on the model parameters. To integrate over the posterior, we use two approximation techniques on the log scaled posterior of the correlation parameters. First we approximate the Jeffreys on the untransformed parameters, this enables us to specify a uniform prior on the transformed parameters. This makes Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulations run faster. For the second approach, we approximate the posterior with a Normal density. <br /><br /> A large part of the thesis is focused on the problem of integration. Integration is often a goal in computer experiments and as previously mentioned, necessary for inference in Bayesian analysis. Sampling strategies are more challenging in computer experiments particularly when dealing with computationally expensive functions. We focus on the problem of integration by using a sampling approach which we refer to as "GaSP integration". This approach assumes that the integrand over some domain is a Gaussian random variable. It follows that the integral itself is a Gaussian random variable and the Best Linear Unbiased Predictor (BLUP) can be used as an estimator of the integral. We show that the integration estimates from GaSP integration have lower absolute errors. We also develop the Adaptive Sub-region Sampling Integration Algorithm (ASSIA) to improve GaSP integration estimates. The algorithm recursively partitions the integration domain into sub-regions in which GaSP integration can be applied more effectively. As a result of the adaptive partitioning of the integration domain, the adaptive algorithm varies sampling to suit the variation of the integrand. This "strategic sampling" can be used to explore the structure of functions in computer experiments.
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Stella Karuri (2005). Integration in Computer Experiments and Bayesian Analysis. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/1187