- BERNOULLI Journal
- November 2014
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- Sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) methods, also known as particle filters, are simulation-based recursive algorithms for the approximation of the a posteriori probability measures generated by state-space dynamical models. At any given time t, a SMC method produces a set of samples over the state space of the system of interest (often termed "particles") that is used to build a discrete and random approximation of the posterior probability distribution of the state variables, conditional on a sequence of available observations. One potential application of the methodology is the estimation of the densities associated to the sequence of a posteriori distributions. While practitioners have rather freely applied such density approximations in the past, the issue has received less attention from a theoretical perspective. In this paper, we address the problem of constructing kernel-based estimates of the posterior probability density function and its derivatives, and obtain asymptotic convergence results for the estimation errors. In particular, we find convergence rates for the approximation errors that hold uniformly on the state space and guarantee that the error vanishes almost surely as the number of particles in the filter grows. Based on this uniform convergence result, we first show how to build continuous measures that converge almost surely (with known rate) toward the posterior measure and then address a few applications. The latter include maximum a posteriori estimation of the system state using the approximate derivatives of the posterior density and the approximation of functionals of it, for example, Shannon's entropy.
- density estimation; markov systems; particle filtering; sequential monte carlo; state-space models; stochastic filtering