Abstract:

We study the posterior contraction behavior of the latent population structure that arises in admixture models as the amount of data increases. We adopt the geometric view of admixture models  alternatively known as topic models  as a data generating mechanism for points randomly sampled from the interior of a (convex) population polytope, whose extreme points correspond to the population structure variables of interest. Rates of posterior contraction are established with respect to Hausdorff metric and a minimum matching Euclidean metric defined on polytopes. Tools developed include posterior asymptotics of hierarchical models and arguments from convex geometry. We also present experiments with simulated and real data, which demonstrate the contraction behavior of the posterior distributions obtained by an MCMC algorithm.
