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Adaptive mixture of Student-t distributions as a flexible candidate distribution for efficient simulation: the R package AdMit

This paper presents the R package AdMit which provides flexible functions to approximate a certain target distribution and to efficiently generate a sample of random draws from it, given only a kernel of the target density function given only a kernel of the target density function. The core algorithm consists of the function AdMit which fits an adaptive mixture of Student-t distributions to the density of interest via its kernel function. Then, importance sampling or the independence chain Metropolis-Hastings algorithm is used to obtain quantities of interest for the target density, using the fitted mixture as the importance or candidate density. The estimation procedure is fully automatic and thus avoids the time-consuming and difficult task of tuning a sampling algorithm. The relevance of the package is shown in two examples. The first aims at illustrating in detail the use of the functions provided by the package in a bivariate bimodal distribution. The second shows the relevance of the adaptive mixture procedure through the Bayesian estimation of a mixture of ARCH model fitted to foreign exchange log-returns data. The methodology is compared to standard cases of importance sampling and the Metropolis-Hastings algorithm using a naive candidate and with the Griddy-Gibbs approach.

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Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Economics, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland in its series DQE Working Papers with number 9.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jun 2008
Date of revision: 07 Jan 2009
Publication status: Published in Journal of Statistical Software, 2009, vol. 29, no.3, pp.1--31.
Handle: RePEc:fri:dqewps:wp0009
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bd de Pérolles 90, CH-1700 Fribourg
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  1. Hoogerheide, L.F. & Kaashoek, J.F. & van Dijk, H.K., 2005. "On the shape of posterior densities and credible sets in instrumental variable regression models with reduced rank: an application of flexible sampling methods using neural networks," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2005-12, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  2. Geweke, John, 2007. "Interpretation and inference in mixture models: Simple MCMC works," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 3529-3550, April.
  3. David Ardia & Lennart F. Hoogerheide & Herman K. van Dijk, 2008. "Adaptive Mixture of Student-t distributions as a Flexible Candidate Distribution for Efficient Simulation: the R Package AdMit," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-062/4, Tinbergen Institute, revised 15 Dec 2008.
  4. Geweke, John, 1989. "Bayesian Inference in Econometric Models Using Monte Carlo Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1317-39, November.
  5. Kloek, Tuen & van Dijk, Herman K, 1978. "Bayesian Estimates of Equation System Parameters: An Application of Integration by Monte Carlo," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 1-19, January.
  6. Lamoureux, Christopher G & Lastrapes, William D, 1990. "Persistence in Variance, Structural Change, and the GARCH Model," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 8(2), pages 225-34, April.
  7. Michael Dueker, 1995. "Markov switching in GARCH processes and mean reverting stock market volatility," Working Papers 1994-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  8. Bollerslev, T. & Ghysels, E., 1994. "Periodic Autoregressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity," Cahiers de recherche 9408, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  9. Sylvia Frühwirth-Schnatter, 2001. "Fully Bayesian Analysis of Switching Gaussian State Space Models," Annals of the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Springer, vol. 53(1), pages 31-49, March.
  10. Heij, Christiaan & de Boer, Paul & Franses, Philip Hans & Kloek, Teun & van Dijk, Herman K., 2004. "Econometric Methods with Applications in Business and Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199268016.
  11. Hoogerheide, Lennart & van Dijk, Herman K., 2010. "Bayesian forecasting of Value at Risk and Expected Shortfall using adaptive importance sampling," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 231-247, April.
  12. Ardia, David & Hoogerheide, Lennart F. & van Dijk, Herman K., 2008. "AdMit: Adaptive Mixtures of Student-t Distributions," DQE Working Papers 10, Department of Quantitative Economics, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland, revised 07 Jan 2009.
  13. Marcucci Juri, 2005. "Forecasting Stock Market Volatility with Regime-Switching GARCH Models," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(4), pages 1-55, December.
  14. Franc Klaassen, 2002. "Improving GARCH volatility forecasts with regime-switching GARCH," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 363-394.
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