Approximate variational inference for a model of social interactions
AbstractThis paper proposes approximate variational inference methods for estimation of a strategic model of social interactions. Players interact in an exogenous network and sequentially choose a binary action. The utility of an action is a function of the choices of neighbors in the network. I prove that the interaction process can be represented as a potential game and it converges to a unique stationary equilibrium distribution. However, exact inference for this model is infeasible because of a computationally intractable likelihood, which cannot be evaluated even when there are few players. To overcome this problem, I propose variational approximations for the likelihood that allow approximate inference. This technique can be applied to any discrete exponential family, and therefore it is a general tool for inference in models with a large number of players. The methodology is illustrated with several simulated datasets and compared with MCMC methods.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 13-16.
Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/
Variational approximations; Bayesian Estimation; Social Interactions;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
- C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
- C73 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Stochastic and Dynamic Games; Evolutionary Games
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-05 (All new papers)
- NEP-ECM-2013-10-05 (Econometrics)
- NEP-GTH-2013-10-05 (Game Theory)
- NEP-UPT-2013-10-05 (Utility Models & Prospect Theory)
- NEP-URE-2013-10-05 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- L. Blume, 2010.
"The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
488, David K. Levine.
- Blume Lawrence E., 1993. "The Statistical Mechanics of Strategic Interaction," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 387-424, July.
- Braun, Michael & McAuliffe, Jon, 2010. "Variational Inference for Large-Scale Models of Discrete Choice," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(489), pages 324-335.
- Ormerod, J. T. & Wand, M. P., 2010. "Explaining Variational Approximations," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 64(2), pages 140-153.
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