[0911.2150] Bayesian evidence: can we beat MultiNest using traditional MCMC methods?

Authors: Rutger van Haasteren

Date: 11 Nov 2009

Abstract: Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods have revolutionised Bayesian data analysis over the years by making the direct computation of posterior probability densities feasible on modern workstations. However, the calculation of the prior predictive, the Bayesian evidence, has proved to be notoriously difficult with standard techniques. In this work a method is presented that lets one calculate the Bayesian evidence using nothing but the results from standard MCMC algorithms, like Metropolis-Hastings. This new method is compared to other methods like MultiNest, and greatly outperforms the latter in several cases. One of the toy problems considered in this work is the analysis of mock pulsar timing data, as encountered in pulsar timing array projects. This method is expected to be useful as well in other problems in astrophysics, cosmology and particle physics.

abs pdf

Nov 17, 2009

0911.2150 (/preprints)
2009-11-17, 10:14 [edit]

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