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© 2015, Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. In the following article, we investigate a particle filter for approximating Feynman–Kac models with indicator potentials and we use this algorithm within Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) to learn static parameters of the model. Examples of such models include approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) posteriors associated with hidden Markov models (HMMs) or rare-event problems. Such models require the use of advanced particle filter or MCMC algorithms to perform estimation. One of the drawbacks of existing particle filters is that they may “collapse,” in that the algorithm may terminate early, due to the indicator potentials. In this article, using a newly developed special case of the locally adaptive particle filter, we use an algorithm that can deal with this latter problem, while introducing a random cost per-time step. In particular, we show how this algorithm can be used within MCMC, using particle MCMC. It is established that, when not taking into account computational time, when the new MCMC algorithm is applied to a simplified model it has a lower asymptotic variance in comparison to a standard particle MCMC algorithm. Numerical examples are presented for ABC approximations of HMMs.

Original publication




Journal article


Stochastic Analysis and Applications

Publication Date





943 - 974