Markov Chain Monte Carlo for Continuous-Time Switching Dynamical Systems

Lukas Köhs · Bastian Alt · Heinz Koeppl

Hall E #718

Keywords: [ PM: Graphical Models ] [ PM: Monte Carlo and Sampling Methods ] [ APP: Time Series ] [ PM: Bayesian Models and Methods ] [ T: Probabilistic Methods ] [ MISC: Sequential, Network, and Time Series Modeling ] [ Probabilistic Methods ]


Switching dynamical systems are an expressive model class for the analysis of time-series data. As in many fields within the natural and engineering sciences, the systems under study typically evolve continuously in time, it is natural to consider continuous-time model formulations consisting of switching stochastic differential equations governed by an underlying Markov jump process. Inference in these types of models is however notoriously difficult, and tractable computational schemes are rare. In this work, we propose a novel inference algorithm utilizing a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach. The presented Gibbs sampler allows to efficiently obtain samples from the exact continuous-time posterior processes. Our framework naturally enables Bayesian parameter estimation, and we also include an estimate for the diffusion covariance, which is oftentimes assumed fixed in stochastic differential equations models. We evaluate our framework under the modeling assumption and compare it against an existing variational inference approach.

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