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Bayesian Inference via Classes of Normalized Random Measures

  • Lancelot F. James


  • Antonio Lijoi


  • Igor Pruenster


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    One of the main research areas in Bayesian Nonparametrics is the proposal and study of priors which generalize the Dirichlet process. Here we exploit theoretical properties of Poisson random measures in order to provide a comprehensive Bayesian analysis of random probabilities which are obtained by an appropriate normalization. Specifically we achieve explicit and tractable forms of the posterior and the marginal distributions, including an explicit and easily used description of generalizations of the important Blackwell-MacQueen Pólya urn distribution. Such simplifications are achieved by the use of a latent variable which admits quite interesting interpretations which allow to gain a better understanding of the behaviour of these random probability measures. It is noteworthy that these models are generalizations of models considered by Kingman (1975) in a non-Bayesian context. Such models are known to play a significant role in a variety of applications including genetics, physics, and work involving random mappings and assemblies. Hence our analysis is of utility in those contexts as well. We also show how our results may be applied to Bayesian mixture models and describe computational schemes which are generalizations of known efficient methods for the case of the Dirichlet process. We illustrate new examples of processes which can play the role of priors for Bayesian nonparametric inference and finally point out some interesting connections with the theory of generalized gamma convolutions initiated by Thorin and further developed by Bondesson.

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    Paper provided by ICER - International Centre for Economic Research in its series ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series with number 5-2005.

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    Length: 41 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2005
    Handle: RePEc:icr:wpmath:5-2005
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    1. Ghirardato, Paolo & Marinacci, Massimo, 2000. "Risk, Ambigity and the Separation of Utility and Beliefs," Working Papers 1085, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    2. Domenico Menicucci, 2001. "Optimal two-object auctions with synergies," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 18-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
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