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Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2023

Unbiasing Hamiltonian Monte Carlo algorithms for a general Hamiltonian function

Abstract

Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (HMC) is a Markov chain Monte Carlo method that allows to sample high dimensional probability measures. It relies on the integration of the Hamiltonian dynamics to propose a move which is then accepted or rejected thanks to a Metropolis procedure. Unbiased sampling is guaranteed by the preservation by the numerical integrators of two key properties of the Hamiltonian dynamics: volume-preservation and reversibility up to momentum reversal. For separable Hamiltonian functions, some standard explicit numerical schemes, such as the St\"ormer--Verlet integrator, satisfy these properties. However, for numerical or physical reasons, one may consider a Hamiltonian function which is nonseparable, in which case the standard numerical schemes which preserve the volume and satisfy reversibility up to momentum reversal are implicit. Actually, when implemented in practice, such implicit schemes may admit many solutions or none, especially when the timestep is too large. We show here how to enforce the numerical reversibility, and thus unbiasedness, of HMC schemes in this context. Numerical results illustrate the relevance of this correction on simple problems.

Dates and versions

hal-04050146 , version 1 (29-03-2023)

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Tony Lelièvre, Régis Santet, Gabriel Stoltz. Unbiasing Hamiltonian Monte Carlo algorithms for a general Hamiltonian function. 2023. ⟨hal-04050146⟩
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