Generalized rejection sampling schemes and applications in signal processing

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Bayesian methods and their implementations by means of sophisticated Monte Carlo techniques, such as Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) and particle filters, have become very popular in signal processing over the last years. However, in many problems of practical interest these techniques demand procedures for sampling from probability distributions with non-standard forms, hence we are often brought back to the consideration of fundamental simulation algorithms, such as rejection sampling (RS). Unfortunately, the use of RS techniques demands the calculation of tight upper bounds for the ratio of the target probability density function (pdf) over the proposal density from which candidate samples are drawn. Except for the class of log-concave target pdf's, for which an efficient algorithm exists, there are no general methods to analytically determine this bound, which has to be derived from scratch for each specific case. In this paper, we introduce new schemes for (a) obtaining upper bounds for likelihood functions and (b) adaptively computing proposal densities that approximate the target pdf closely. The former class of methods provides the tools to easily sample from a posteriori probability distributions (that appear very often in signal processing problems) by drawing candidates from the prior distribution. However, they are even more useful when they are exploited to derive the generalized adaptive RS (GARS) algorithm introduced in the second part of the paper. The proposed GARS method yields a sequence of proposal densities that converge towards the target pdf and enable a very efficient sampling of a broad class of probability distributions, possibly with multiple modes and non-standard forms. We provide some simple numerical examples to illustrate the use of the proposed techniques, including an example of target localization using range measurements, often encountered in sensor network applications.
The results in this paper(namely those in Section4) have been partially presented at the 34-th IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP 2009)and the 17-th European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO 2009).
Rejection sampling, Adaptive rejectionsampling, Gibbs sampling, Particle filtering, Monte Carlointegration, Sensor networks, Target localization
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Signal Processing, 2010 November, Volume 90, Issue 11, Pages 2981–2995