CRiSM Seminar - Oliver Ratmann (Imperial)
Statistical modelling of summary values leads to accurate Approximate Bayesian Computations
Abstract: Approximate Bayesian Computations (ABC) are considered to be noisy. We present a statistical framework for accurate ABC parameter inference that rests on well-established results from indirect inference and decision theory. This framework guarantees that ABC estimates the mode of the true posterior density exactly and that the Kullback-Leibler divergence of the ABC approximation to the true posterior density is minimal, provided that verifiable conditions are met. Our approach requires appropriate statistical modelling of the distribution of "summary values" - data points on a summary level - from which the choice of summary statistics follows implicitly. This places elementary statistical modelling at the heart of ABC analyses, which we illustrate on several examples.