Seminars and Colloquia by Series

Thursday, October 16, 2008 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles 269 , Tony Cai , Department of Statistics, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania , Organizer: Heinrich Matzinger
Adaptive estimation of linear functionals occupies an important position in the theory of nonparametric function estimation. In this talk I will discuss an adaptation theory for estimation as well as for the construction of confidence intervals for linear functionals. A between class modulus of continuity, a geometric quantity, is shown to be instrumental in characterizing the degree of adaptability and in the construction of adaptive procedures in the same way that the usual modulus of continuity captures the minimax difficulty of estimation over a single parameter space. Our results thus "geometrize" the degree of adaptability.
Thursday, October 2, 2008 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles 269 , Mark Huber , Departments of Mathematics and Statistical Sciences, Duke University , Organizer: Heinrich Matzinger
Spatial data are often more dispersed than would be expected if the points were independently placed. Such data can be modeled with repulsive point processes, where the points appear as if they are repelling one another. Various models have been created to deal with this phenomenon. Matern created three algorithms that generate repulsive processes. Here, Matérn Type III processes are used to approximate the likelihood and posterior values for data. Perfect simulation methods are used to draw auxiliary variables for each spatial point that are part of the type III process.
Thursday, September 25, 2008 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles 269 , Robert Serfling , Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Texas at Dallas , Organizer: Heinrich Matzinger
Robustness of several nonparametric multivariate "threshold type" outlier identification procedures is studied, employing a masking breakdown point criterion subject to a fixed false positive rate. The procedures are based on four different outlyingness functions: the widely-used "Mahalanobis distance" version, a new one based on a "Mahalanobis quantile" function that we introduce, one based on the well-known "halfspace" depth, and one based on the well-known "projection" depth. In this treatment, multivariate location outlyingness functions are formulated as extensions of univariate versions using either "substitution" or "projection pursuit," and an equivalence paradigm relating multivariate depth, outlyingness, quantile, and centered rank functions is applied. Of independent interest, the new "Mahalanobis quantile" outlyingness function is not restricted to have elliptical contours, has a transformation-retransformation representation in terms of the well-known spatial outlyingness function, and corrects to full affine invariance the orthogonal invariance of that function. Here two special tools, also of independent interest, are introduced and applied: a notion of weak covariance functional, and a very general and flexible formulation of affine equivariance for multivariate quantile functions. The new Mahalanobis quantile function inherits attractive features of the spatial version, such as computational ease and a Bahadur-Kiefer representation. For the particular outlyingness functions under consideration, masking breakdown points are evaluated and compared within a contamination model. It is seen that for threshold type outlier identification the Mahalanobis distance and projection procedures are superior to the others, although all four procedures are quite suitable for robust ranking of points with respect to outlyingness. Reasons behind these differences are discussed, and directions for further study are indicated.
Thursday, September 18, 2008 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles 269 , Jonathan Mattingly , Dept of Math, Duke University , Organizer:
I will discuss some recent (but modest) results showing the existence and slow mixing of a stationary chain of Hamiltonian oscillators subject to a heat bath.  Surprisingly, even these simple results require some delicate stochastic averaging. This is joint work with Martin Hairer.
Thursday, September 11, 2008 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles 269 , Robert Foley , ISyE, Georgia Tech , Organizer: Heinrich Matzinger
Under certain conditions, we obtain exact asymptotic expressions for the stationary distribution \pi of a Markov chain.  In this talk, we will consider Markov chains on {0,1,...}^2.  We are particularly interested in deriving asymptotic expressions when the fluid limit of the most probable paths from the origin to the rare event are nonlinear.  For example, we will derive asymptotic expressions for a large deviation along the x-axis (e.g., \pi(\ell, y) for fixed y) when the most probable paths to (\ell,y) initially climb the y-axis before turning southwest and drifting towards (\ell,y).
Thursday, September 4, 2008 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles 269 , Heinrich Matzinger , School of Mathematics, Georgia Tech , Organizer: Heinrich Matzinger
A common subsequence of two sequences X and Y is a sequence which is a subsequence of X as well as a subsequence of Y. A Longest Common Subsequence (LCS) of X and Y is a common subsequence with maximal length. Longest Common subsequences can be represented as alignments with gaps where the aligned letter pairs corresponds to the letters in the LCS. We consider two independent i.i.d.  binary texts X and Y of length n. We show that the behavior of the the alignment corresponding to the LCS is very different depending on the number of colors.  With 2-colors, long blocks tend to be aligned with no gaps, whilst for four or more colors the opposite is true. Let Ln denote the length of the LCS of X and Y.  In general the order of the variance of Ln is not known. We explain how a biased affect of a finite pattern can influence the order of the fluctuation of Ln.
Thursday, August 28, 2008 - 15:00 , Location: Skiles 269 , Mikhail Lifshits , School of Mathematics, Georgia Tech , Organizer: Heinrich Matzinger
We consider a random field of tensor product type X and investigate the quality of approximation (both in the average and in the probabilistic sense) to X by the processes of rank n minimizing the quadratic approximation error. Most interesting results are obtained for the case when the dimension of parameter set tends to infinity. Call "cardinality" the minimal n providing a given level of approximation accuracy. By applying Central Limit Theorem to (deterministic) array of covariance eigenvalues, we show that, for any fixed level of relative error, this cardinality increases exponentially (a phenomenon often called "intractability" or "dimension curse") and find the explosion coefficient. We also show that the behavior of the probabilistic and average cardinalities is essentially the same in the large domain of parameters.

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