Sequential Multi-Level Monte-Carlo Samplers

Alex Beskos (UCL)


Multilevel Monte-Carlo methods provide a powerful computational technique for reducing the computational cost of estimating expectations for a given computational effort. They are particularly relevant for computational problems when approximate distributions are determined via a resolution parameter h, with h=0 giving the theoretical exact distribution (e.g. SDEs or inverse problems with PDEs). The method provides a benefit by coupling samples from successive resolutions, and estimating differences of successive expectations. We develop a methodology that brings Sequential Monte-Carlo (SMC) algorithms within the framework of the Multilevel idea, as SMC provides a natural set-up for coupling samples over different resolutions. We prove that the new algorithm indeed preserves the benefits of the multilevel principle, even if samples at all resolutions are now correlated.
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