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Activity Number: 231 - SBSS Student Paper Award Session II
Type: Topic Contributed
Date/Time: Monday, July 29, 2019 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Bayesian Statistical Science
Abstract #305203
Title: Constrained Bayesian Inference Through Posterior Projections
Author(s): Sayan Patra* and David Dunson
Companies: Duke University and Duke University
Keywords: Bayesian; Convexity; Minimal distance mapping; Parameter constraint; Projection operator

In a broad variety of settings, prior information takes the form of parameter restrictions. Bayesian approaches are appealing in parameter constrained problems in allowing a probabilistic characterization of uncertainty in finite samples, while providing a computational machinery for incorporation of complex constraints in hierarchical models. However, the usual Bayesian strategy of directly placing a prior measure on the constrained space, and then conducting posterior computation with Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms is often intractable. An alternative is to initially conduct computation for an unconstrained or less constrained posterior, and then project draws from this initial posterior to the constrained space through a minimal distance mapping. This approach has been successful in monotone function estimation but has not been considered in broader settings. In this article, we develop a general theory to show how the asymptotic properties of the unconstrained posterior are transferred to the projected posterior. Posterior projections are then illustrated through multiple examples, both in simulation studies and real data applications.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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