IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Estimating discrete Markov models from various incomplete data schemes


  • Pasanisi, Alberto
  • Fu, Shuai
  • Bousquet, Nicolas


The parameters of a discrete stationary Markov model are transition probabilities between states. Traditionally, data consist in sequences of observed states for a given number of individuals over the whole observation period. In such a case, the estimation of transition probabilities is straightforwardly made by counting one-step moves from a given state to another. In many real-life problems, however, the inference is much more difficult as state sequences are not fully observed, namely the state of each individual is known only for some given values of the time variable. A review of the problem is given, focusing on Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) algorithms to perform Bayesian inference and evaluate posterior distributions of the transition probabilities in this missing-data framework. Leaning on the dependence between the rows of the transition matrix, an adaptive MCMC mechanism accelerating the classical Metropolis–Hastings algorithm is then proposed and empirically studied.

Suggested Citation

  • Pasanisi, Alberto & Fu, Shuai & Bousquet, Nicolas, 2012. "Estimating discrete Markov models from various incomplete data schemes," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 56(9), pages 2609-2625.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:csdana:v:56:y:2012:i:9:p:2609-2625
    DOI: 10.1016/j.csda.2012.02.027

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Fuertes, Ana-Maria & Kalotychou, Elena, 2007. "On sovereign credit migration: A study of alternative estimators and rating dynamics," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 3448-3469, April.
    2. MacRae, Elizabeth Chase, 1977. "Estimation of Time-Varying Markov Processes with Aggregate Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 183-198, January.
    3. David J. Nott & Robert Kohn, 2005. "Adaptive sampling for Bayesian variable selection," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 92(4), pages 747-763, December.
    4. Nikoloulopoulos, Aristidis K. & Karlis, Dimitris, 2008. "Copula model evaluation based on parametric bootstrap," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 3342-3353, March.
    5. Matthew T Jones, 2005. "Estimating Markov Transition Matrices Using Proportions Data; An Application to Credit Risk," IMF Working Papers 05/219, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Gouno, E. & Courtrai, L. & Fredette, M., 2011. "Estimation from aggregate data," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 615-626, January.
    7. Strid, Ingvar & Giordani, Paolo & Kohn, Robert, 2010. "Adaptive hybrid Metropolis-Hastings samplers for DSGE models," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 724, Stockholm School of Economics.
    8. Christian Genest & Jean-François Quessy & Bruno Rémillard, 2006. "Goodness-of-fit Procedures for Copula Models Based on the Probability Integral Transformation," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics;Finnish Statistical Society;Norwegian Statistical Association;Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 33(2), pages 337-366.
    9. Jerome A. Dupuis & Carl James Schwarz, 2007. "A Bayesian Approach to the Multistate Jolly–Seber Capture–Recapture Model," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 1015-1022, December.
    10. Vihola, Matti, 2010. "Grapham: Graphical models with adaptive random walk Metropolis algorithms," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 49-54, January.
    11. Kim, Gunky & Silvapulle, Mervyn J. & Silvapulle, Paramsothy, 2007. "Comparison of semiparametric and parametric methods for estimating copulas," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 2836-2850, March.
    12. repec:dau:papers:123456789/1906 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Isabelle Deltour & Sylvia Richardson & Jean-Yves Le Hesran, 1999. "Stochastic Algorithms for Markov Models Estimation with Intermittent Missing Data," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 565-573, June.
    14. Rosenthal, Jeffrey S., 2007. "AMCMC: An R interface for adaptive MCMC," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(12), pages 5467-5470, August.
    15. Huard, David & Evin, Guillaume & Favre, Anne-Catherine, 2006. "Bayesian copula selection," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 809-822, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:csdana:v:56:y:2012:i:9:p:2609-2625. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.