A brief general explanation of Rao-Blacwellization and a new way of applying it to reduce the variance of a point estimation in a sequential bayesian setting

Petetin, Y.; Desbouvries, F., Bayesian Conditional Monte Carlo Algorithms for Nonlinear Time-Series State Estimation, Signal Processing, IEEE Transactions on , vol.63, no.14, pp.3586,3598, DOI: 10.1109/TSP.2015.2423251.

Bayesian filtering aims at estimating sequentially a hidden process from an observed one. In particular, sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) techniques propagate in time weighted trajectories which represent the posterior probability density function (pdf) of the hidden process given the available observations. On the other hand, conditional Monte Carlo (CMC) is a variance reduction technique which replaces the estimator of a moment of interest by its conditional expectation given another variable. In this paper, we show that up to some adaptations, one can make use of the time recursive nature of SMC algorithms in order to propose natural temporal CMC estimators of some point estimates of the hidden process, which outperform the associated crude Monte Carlo (MC) estimator whatever the number of samples. We next show that our Bayesian CMC estimators can be computed exactly, or approximated efficiently, in some hidden Markov chain (HMC) models; in some jump Markov state-space systems (JMSS); as well as in multitarget filtering. Finally our algorithms are validated via simulations.

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