Numerical Methods for Bayesian Inference in Hilbert Spaces

Björn Sprungk

Numerical Methods for Bayesian Inference in Hilbert Spaces

Autor: Björn Sprungk

ISBN: 978-3-96100-028-9

Seitenzahl: 257

Erscheinungsdatum: 14.02.2018


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Bayesian inference occurs when prior knowledge about uncertain parameters in mathematical models is merged with new observational data related to the model outcome. In this thesis we focus on models given by partial differential equations where the uncertain parameters are coefficient functions belonging to infinite dimensional function spaces. The result of the Bayesian inference is then a well-defined posterior probability measure on a function space describing the updated knowledge about the uncertain coefficient. For decision making and post-processing it is often required to sample or integrate wit resprect to the posterior measure. This calls for sampling or numerical methods which are suitable for infinite dimensional spaces. In this work we focus on Kalman filter techniques based on ensembles or polynomial chaos expansions as well as Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. We analyze the Kalman filters by proving convergence and discussing their applicability in the context of Bayesian inference. Moreover, we develop and study an improved dimension-independent Metropolis-Hastings algorithm. Here, we show geometric ergodicity of the new method by a spectral gap approach using a novel comparison result for spectral gaps. Besides that, we observe and further analyze the robustness of the proposed algorithm with respect to decreasing observational noise. This robustness is another desirable property of numerical methods for Bayesian inference. The work concludes with the application of the discussed methods to a real-world groundwater flow problem illustrating, in particular, the Bayesian approach for uncertainty quantification in practice.

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