Combining Push-Forward Measures and Bayes' Rule to Construct Consistent Solutions to Stochastic Inverse Problems

Combining Push-Forward Measures and Bayes' Rule to Construct Consistent Solutions to Stochastic Inverse Problems

Abstract

We formulate, and present a numerical method for solving, an inverse problem for inferring parameters of a deterministic model from stochastic observational data on quantities of interest. The solution, given as a probability measure, is derived using a Bayesian updating approach for measurable maps that finds a posterior probability measure that when propagated through the deterministic model produces a push-forward measure that exactly matches the observed probability measure on the data. Our approach for finding such posterior measures, which we call consistent Bayesian inference or push-forward based inference, is simple and only requires the computation of the push-forward probability measure induced by the combination of a prior probability measure and the deterministic model. We establish existence and uniqueness of observation-consistent posteriors and present both stability and error analyses. We also discuss the relationships between consistent Bayesian inference, classical/statistical Bayesian inference, and a recently developed measure-theoretic approach for inference. Finally, analytical and numerical results are presented to highlight certain properties of the consistent Bayesian approach and the differences between this approach and the two aforementioned alternatives for inference.

Publication
In SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing
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Troy Butler
Associate Professor

My research interests include distributed robotics, mobile computing and programmable matter.