# Browsing by Subject "Variable selection"

###### Results Per Page

###### Sort Options

Item Open Access Bayesian Adjustment for Multiplicity(2009) Scott, James GordonThis thesis is about Bayesian approaches for handling multiplicity. It considers three main kinds of multiple-testing scenarios: tests of exchangeable experimental units, tests for variable inclusion in linear regresson models, and tests for conditional independence in jointly normal vectors. Multiplicity adjustment in these three areas will be seen to have many common structural features. Though the modeling approach throughout is Bayesian, frequentist reasoning regarding error rates will often be employed.

Chapter 1 frames the issues in the context of historical debates about Bayesian multiplicity adjustment. Chapter 2 confronts the problem of large-scale screening of functional data, where control over Type-I error rates is a crucial issue. Chapter 3 develops new theory for comparing Bayes and empirical-Bayes approaches for multiplicity correction in regression variable selection. Chapters 4 and 5 describe new theoretical and computational tools for Gaussian graphical-model selection, where multiplicity arises in performing many simultaneous tests of pairwise conditional independence. Chapter 6 introduces a new approach to sparse-signal modeling based upon local shrinkage rules. Here the focus is not on multiplicity per se, but rather on using ideas from Bayesian multiple-testing models to motivate a new class of multivariate scale-mixture priors. Finally, Chapter 7 describes some directions for future study, many of which are the subjects of my current research agenda.

Item Open Access Bayesian Computation for Variable Selection and Multivariate Forecasting in Dynamic Models(2020) Lavine, IsaacChallenges arise in time series analysis due to the need for sequential forecasting and updating of model parameters as data is observed. This dissertation presents techniques for efficient Bayesian computation in multivariate time series analysis. Computational scalability is a core focus of this work, and often rests on the decouple-recouple concept in which multivariate models are decoupled into univariate models for efficient inference, and then recoupled to produce joint forecasts. The first section of this dissertation develops novel methods for variable selection in which models are scored and weighted based on specific forecasting and decision goals. In the time series setting, standard marginal likelihoods correspond to 1−step forecast densities, and considering alternate objectives is shown to improve long-term forecast accuracy. Scoring models based on forecast objectives can be computationally intensive, so the model space is reduced by evaluating univariate models separately along each dimension. This enables an efficient search over large, higher dimensional model spaces. A second area of focus in this dissertation is product demand forecasting, driven by applied considerations in grocery store sales. A novel copula model is developed for multivariate forecasting with Dynamic Generalized Linear Models (DGLMs), with a variational Bayes strategy for inference in latent factor DGLMs. Three applied case studies demonstrate that these techniques increase computational efficiency by several orders of magnitude over comparable multivariate models, without any loss of forecast accuracy. An additional area of interest in product demand forecasting is the effect of holidays and special events. An error correction model is introduced for this context, demonstrating strong predictive performance across a variety of holidays and retail item categories. Finally, a new Python package for Bayesian DGLM analysis, PyBATS, provides a set of tools for user-friendly analysis of univariate and multivariate time series.

Item Open Access Bayesian Hierarchical Models for Model Choice(2013) Li, YingboWith the development of modern data collection approaches, researchers may collect hundreds to millions of variables, yet may not need to utilize all explanatory variables available in predictive models. Hence, choosing models that consist of a subset of variables often becomes a crucial step. In linear regression, variable selection not only reduces model complexity, but also prevents over-fitting. From a Bayesian perspective, prior specification of model parameters plays an important role in model selection as well as parameter estimation, and often prevents over-fitting through shrinkage and model averaging.

We develop two novel hierarchical priors for selection and model averaging, for Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) and normal linear regression, respectively. They can be considered as "spike-and-slab" prior distributions or more appropriately "spike- and-bell" distributions. Under these priors we achieve dimension reduction, since their point masses at zero allow predictors to be excluded with positive posterior probability. In addition, these hierarchical priors have heavy tails to provide robust- ness when MLE's are far from zero.

Zellner's g-prior is widely used in linear models. It preserves correlation structure among predictors in its prior covariance, and yields closed-form marginal likelihoods which leads to huge computational savings by avoiding sampling in the parameter space. Mixtures of g-priors avoid fixing g in advance, and can resolve consistency problems that arise with fixed g. For GLMs, we show that the mixture of g-priors using a Compound Confluent Hypergeometric distribution unifies existing choices in the literature and maintains their good properties such as tractable (approximate) marginal likelihoods and asymptotic consistency for model selection and parameter estimation under specific values of the hyper parameters.

While the g-prior is invariant under rotation within a model, a potential problem with the g-prior is that it inherits the instability of ordinary least squares (OLS) estimates when predictors are highly correlated. We build a hierarchical prior based on scale mixtures of independent normals, which incorporates invariance under rotations within models like ridge regression and the g-prior, but has heavy tails like the Zeller-Siow Cauchy prior. We find this method out-performs the gold standard mixture of g-priors and other methods in the case of highly correlated predictors in Gaussian linear models. We incorporate a non-parametric structure, the Dirichlet Process (DP) as a hyper prior, to allow more flexibility and adaptivity to the data.

Item Open Access Bayesian Models for Causal Analysis with Many Potentially Weak Instruments(2015) Jiang, ShengThis paper investigates Bayesian instrumental variable models with many instruments. The number of instrumental variables grows with the sample size and is allowed to be much larger than the sample size. With some sparsity condition on the coefficients on the instruments, we characterize a general prior specification where the posterior consistency of the parameters is established and calculate the corresponding convergence rate.

In particular, we show the posterior consistency for a class of spike and slab priors on the many potentially weak instruments. The spike and slab prior shrinks the number of instrumental variables, which avoids overfitting and provides uncertainty quantifications on the first stage. A simulation study is conducted to illustrate the convergence notion and estimation/selection performance under dependent instruments. Computational issues related to the Gibbs sampler are also discussed.

Item Open Access Bayesian Sparse Learning for High Dimensional Data(2011) Shi, MinghuiIn this thesis, we develop some Bayesian sparse learning methods for high dimensional data analysis. There are two important topics that are related to the idea of sparse learning -- variable selection and factor analysis. We start with Bayesian variable selection problem in regression models. One challenge in Bayesian variable selection is to search the huge model space adequately, while identifying high posterior probability regions. In the past decades, the main focus has been on the use of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms for these purposes. In the first part of this thesis, instead of using MCMC, we propose a new computational approach based on sequential Monte Carlo (SMC), which we refer to as particle stochastic search (PSS). We illustrate PSS through applications to linear regression and probit models.

Besides the Bayesian stochastic search algorithms, there is a rich literature on shrinkage and variable selection methods for high dimensional regression and classification with vector-valued parameters, such as lasso (Tibshirani, 1996) and the relevance vector machine (Tipping, 2001). Comparing with the Bayesian stochastic search algorithms, these methods does not account for model uncertainty but are more computationally efficient. In the second part of this thesis, we generalize this type of ideas to matrix valued parameters and focus on developing efficient variable selection method for multivariate regression. We propose a Bayesian shrinkage model (BSM) and an efficient algorithm for learning the associated parameters .

In the third part of this thesis, we focus on the topic of factor analysis which has been widely used in unsupervised learnings. One central problem in factor analysis is related to the determination of the number of latent factors. We propose some Bayesian model selection criteria for selecting the number of latent factors based on a graphical factor model. As it is illustrated in Chapter 4, our proposed method achieves good performance in correctly selecting the number of factors in several different settings. As for application, we implement the graphical factor model for several different purposes, such as covariance matrix estimation, latent factor regression and classification.

Item Open Access Continuous-Time Models of Arrival Times and Optimization Methods for Variable Selection(2018) Lindon, Michael ScottThis thesis naturally divides itself into two sections. The first two chapters concern

the development of Bayesian semi-parametric models for arrival times. Chapter 2

considers Bayesian inference for a Gaussian process modulated temporal inhomogeneous Poisson point process, made challenging by an intractable likelihood. The intractable likelihood is circumvented by two novel data augmentation strategies which result in Gaussian measurements of the Gaussian process, connecting the model with a larger literature on modelling time-dependent functions from Bayesian non-parametric regression to time series. A scalable state-space representation of the Matern Gaussian process in 1 dimension is used to provide access to linear time filtering algorithms for performing inference. An MCMC algorithm based on Gibbs sampling with slice-sampling steps is provided and illustrated on simulated and real datasets. The MCMC algorithm exhibits excellent mixing and scalability.

Chapter 3 builds on the previous model to detect specific signals in temporal point patterns arising in neuroscience. The firing of a neuron over time in response to an external stimulus generates a temporal point pattern or ``spike train''. Of special interest is how neurons encode information from dual simultaneous external stimuli. Among many hypotheses is the presence multiplexing - interleaving periods of firing as it would for each individual stimulus in isolation. Statistical models are developed to quantify evidence for a variety of experimental hypotheses. Each experimental hypothesis translates to a particular form of intensity function for the dual stimuli trials. The dual stimuli intensity is modelled as a dynamic superposition of single stimulus intensities, defined by a time-dependent weight function that is modelled non-parametrically as a transformed Gaussian process. Experiments on simulated data demonstrate that the model is able to learn the weight function very well, but other model parameters which have meaningful physical interpretations less well.

Chapters 4 and 5 concern mathematical optimization and theoretical properties of Bayesian models for variable selection. Such optimizations are challenging due to non-convexity, non-smoothness and discontinuity of the objective. Chapter 4 presents advances in continuous optimization algorithms based on relating mathematical and statistical approaches defined in connection with several iterative algorithms for penalized linear

regression. I demonstrate the equivalence of parameter mappings using EM under

several data augmentation strategies - location-mixture representations, orthogonal data augmentation and LQ design matrix decompositions. I show that these

model-based approaches are equivalent to algorithmic derivation via proximal

gradient methods. This provides new perspectives on model-based and algorithmic

approaches, connects across several research themes in optimization and statistics,

and provides access, beyond EM, to relevant theory from the proximal gradient

and convex analysis literatures.

Chapter 5 presents a modern and technologically up-to-date approach to discrete optimization for variable selection models through their formulation as mixed integer programming models. Mixed integer quadratic and quadratically constrained programs are developed for the point-mass-Laplace and g-prior. Combined with warm-starts and optimality-based bounds tightening procedures provided by the heuristics of the previous chapter, the MIQP model developed for the point-mass-Laplace prior converges to global optimality in a matter of seconds for moderately sized real datasets. The obtained estimator is demonstrated to possess superior predictive performance over that obtained by cross-validated lasso in a number of real datasets. The MIQCP model for the g-prior struggles to match the performance of the former and highlights the fact that the performance of the mixed integer solver depends critically on the ability of the prior to rapidly concentrate posterior mass on good models.

Item Open Access Finite population estimators in stochastic search variable selection(BIOMETRIKA, 2012-12) Clyde, MA; Ghosh, JItem Open Access Topics in Modern Bayesian Computation(2015) Qamar, ShaanCollections of large volumes of rich and complex data has become ubiquitous in recent years, posing new challenges in methodological and theoretical statistics alike. Today, statisticians are tasked with developing flexible methods capable of adapting to the degree of complexity and noise in increasingly rich data gathered across a variety of disciplines and settings. This has spurred the need for novel multivariate regression techniques that can efficiently capture a wide range of naturally occurring predictor-response relations, identify important predictors and their interactions and do so even when the number of predictors is large but the sample size remains limited.

Meanwhile, efficient model fitting tools must evolve quickly to keep pace with the rapidly growing dimension and complexity of data they are applied to. Aided by the tremendous success of modern computing, Bayesian methods have gained tremendous popularity in recent years. These methods provide a natural probabilistic characterization of uncertainty in the parameters and in predictions. In addition, they provide a practical way of encoding model structure that can lead to large gains in statistical estimation and more interpretable results. However, this flexibility is often hindered in applications to modern data which are increasingly high dimensional, both in the number of observations $n$ and the number of predictors $p$. Here, computational complexity and the curse of dimensionality typically render posterior computation inefficient. In particular, Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods which remain the workhorse for Bayesian computation (owing to their generality and asymptotic accuracy guarantee), typically suffer data processing and computational bottlenecks as a consequence of (i) the need to hold the entire dataset (or available sufficient statistics) in memory at once; and (ii) having to evaluate of the (often expensive to compute) data likelihood at each sampling iteration.

This thesis divides into two parts. The first part concerns itself with developing efficient MCMC methods for posterior computation in the high dimensional {\em large-n large-p} setting. In particular, we develop an efficient and widely applicable approximate inference algorithm that extends MCMC to the online data setting, and separately propose a novel stochastic search sampling scheme for variable selection in high dimensional predictor settings. The second part of this thesis develops novel methods for structured sparsity in the high-dimensional {\em large-p small-n} regression setting. Here, statistical methods should scale well with the predictor dimension and be able to efficiently identify low dimensional structure so as to facilitate optimal statistical estimation in the presence of limited data. Importantly, these methods must be flexible to accommodate potentially complex relationships between the response and its associated explanatory variables. The first work proposes a nonparametric additive Gaussian process model to learn predictor-response relations that may be highly nonlinear and include numerous lower order interaction effects, possibly in different parts of the predictor space. A second work proposes a novel class of Bayesian shrinkage priors for multivariate regression with a tensor valued predictor. Dimension reduction is achieved using a low-rank additive decomposition for the latter, enabling a highly flexible and rich structure within which excellent cell-estimation and region selection may be obtained through state-of-the-art shrinkage methods. In addition, the methods developed in these works come with strong theoretical guarantees.