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Workshop: Practical Bayesian Nonparametrics

Maria DeYoreo: A Markovian Model for Nonstationary Time Series via Bayesian nonparametrics


Stationary time series models built from parametric distributions are, in general, limited in scope due to the assumptions imposed on the residual distribution and autoregression relationship. We present a modeling approach for univariate time series data, which makes no assumptions of stationarity, and can accommodate complex dynamics and capture non-standard distributions. The model for the transition density arises from the conditional distribution implied by a Bayesian nonparametric mixture of bivariate normals. This results in a flexible autoregressive form for the conditional transition density, defining a time-homogeneous, non-stationary Markovian model for real-valued data indexed in discrete time. To obtain a computationally tractable algorithm for posterior inference, we utilize a square-root-free Cholesky decomposition of the mixture kernel covariance matrix. Results from simulated data suggest that the model is able to recover challenging transition densities and non-linear dynamic relationships. We also illustrate the model on time intervals between eruptions of the Old Faithful geyser. Extensions and open questions about accommodating higher order structure and developing state-space models are also discussed.

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