Monte Carlo twisting for particle filters


Invited talk, discussing work from my PhD.

Abstract: We consider the problem of designing efficient particle filters for twisted Feynman–Kac models. Particle filters using twisted models can deliver low error approximations of statistical quantities and such twisting functions can be learnt iteratively. Practical implementations of these algorithms are complicated by the need to (i) sample from the twisted transition dynamics, and (ii) calculate the twisted potential functions. We expand the class of applicable models using rejection sampling for (i) and unbiased approximations for (ii) using a random weight particle filter. We characterise the average acceptance rates within the particle filter in order to control the computational cost, and analyse the asymptotic variance. Empirical results show the mean squared error of the normalising constant estimate in our method is smaller than a memory-equivalent particle filter but not a computation-equivalent filter. Both comparisons are improved when more efficient sampling is possible which we demonstrate on a stochastic volatility model.