Can the adaptive Metropolis algorithm collapse without the covariance lower bound?
Vihola, M. (2011). Can the adaptive Metropolis algorithm collapse without the covariance lower bound?. Electronic Journal of Probability, 16, 45-75. DOI:10.1214/EJP.v16-840.
Published inElectronic Journal of Probability
© Vihola, 2011.
The Adaptive Metropolis (AM) algorithm is based on the symmetric random-walk Metropolis algorithm. The proposal distribution has the following time-dependent covariance matrix at step $n+1$ \[ S_n = Cov(X_1,...,X_n) + \epsilon I, \] that is, the sample covariance matrix of the history of the chain plus a (small) constant $\epsilon>0$ multiple of the identity matrix $I$. The lower bound on the eigenvalues of $S_n$ induced by the factor $\epsilon I$ is theoretically convenient, but practically cumbersome, as a good value for the parameter $\epsilon$ may not always be easy to choose. This article considers variants of the AM algorithm that do not explicitly bound the eigenvalues of $S_n$ away from zero. The behaviour of $S_n$ is studied in detail, indicating that the eigenvalues of $S_n$ do not tend to collapse to zero in general.
PublisherInstitute of Mathematical Statistics