Impresiónes de València 9

The València 9 meeting in Benidorm is now over, even for those who stay till the end of the party (!)… In retrospect, I found the scientific quality of this last meeting of the series quite high and I am thus sad this series comes to an end. This mythical gathering of “true believers” on a Valencianos beach town certainly had a charm not found in other meetings (even though I have no particular love of beaches, of beach towns or of cabarets) in that it brought people really together for a rather long time in an intense and sometime heated exchange of ideas. (This secluded perspective of course reinforced the caricatures of Bayesians as sectarians!) This was particularly true this time as the huge majority of people stayed in the same (awful) hotel. Also, the fact that there was no parallel sessions was a major factor to keep people together… (The fact that the afternoon sessions were administered by ISBA rather than the València 9 scientific committee had the drawback of sometimes producing similar talks.) In my personal view, there were somehow too many non-parametric and sparsity sessions/talks, but this follows the research trends in the community (after all in the 1994 meeting, there were also “too many” MCMC talks!) And the discussions from the floor were much more limited than in the earlier meetings (but most invited discussions were a clear added value to the talks). Maybe this is due to the growing Bayesian community. As in earlier editions, the poster sessions were a strong moment with the frustrating drawback of having too many posters in a single session to allow for a complete coverage (unless you were ready to stay up till 2am…) Again a consequence of the size of the audience. But it was a pleasure to see how Bayesian statistics was well and alive and how the community was bridging old-timers having attending all of the nine Valencia meetings with newcomers still writing their PhD. (Congrats to Emily Fox and to James Scott for their respective Savage awards!)

Darren Wilkinson also gives an overview of the “last Valencia meeting” on his blog. This post includes a detailed analysis of the GPU solution enthusiatically defended by Chris Holmes. Since I came back from the meeting with ideas towards parallel accelerations for MCMC algorithms, I will look carefully at his arguments.

11 Responses to “Impresiónes de València 9”

  1. […] about the link between GPUs and population-based MCMC, again connected to a talk I heard earlier by Chris Holmes in Valencià 9 last year. The gains brought by using the GPUs are once again […]

  2. […] about Smith et al. (1985), the 1987 special issue of JRSS D, and the computation contents of Valencia 3 (that I sadly missed for being in the Army!) is also quite informative about the perception of […]

  3. […] I flew to València to take part in Anabel Forte’s thesis defence, her thesis being on Objective Bayes criteria […]

  4. […] of INLA users. As exemplified by the attendees to this workshop. Chris Holmes gave another of his inspirational talks this afternoon when defending the use of quasi-Monte Carlo methods in Bayes factor approximations. […]

  5. […] generators for parallel processing Given the growing interest in parallel processing through GPUs or multiple processors, there is a clear need for a proper use of (uniform) random number […]

  6. […] likelihoods, and (c) our mutual excitement when hearing about GPU parallel possibilities from Chris Holmes’ talk in Valencia. (As well as directions drafted in an exciting session in Vancouver!) The (free) gains […]

  7. […] blog has been started by the statistics students and postdocs at CREST, in the wake of the Valencia meeting. It is called Statisfaction. (The Rolling Stones of Statistics?! Actually, Andrew Gelman […]

  8. […] Analysis of Search for Certainty, There is also a farewell note from José Bernardo about the València meetings (to which a “thank you” post-it could have been added!). Plus many other […]

  9. […] will mostly be made of people who had already heard me talk on that topic or seen my poster in Benidorm. Here are the slides […]

  10. […] Rao-Blackwellisation paper has been accepted by the Annals of Statistics as I was leaving for València 9. This is a very good news, indeed! Especially because I came back from València 9 with an idea on […]

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