Archive for canals

living on the edge [of the canal]

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2021 by xi'an

Last month, Roberto Casarin, Radu Craiu, Lorenzo Frattarolo and myself posted an arXiv paper on a unified approach to antithetic sampling. To which I mostly and modestly contributed while visiting Roberto in Venezia two years ago (although it seems much farther than that!). I have always found antithetic sampling fascinating, albeit mostly unachievable in realistic situations, except (and approximately) by quasi-random tools. The original approach dates back to Hammersley and Morton, circa 1956, when they optimally couple X=F⁻(U) and Y=F⁻(1-U), with U Uniform, although there is no clear-cut extension beyond pairs or above dimension one. While the search for optimal and feasible antithetic plans dried out in the mid-1980’s, despite near successes by Rubinstein and others, the focus switched to Latin hypercube sampling.

The construction of a general antithetic sampling scheme is based on sampling uniformly an edge within an undirected graph in the d-dimensional hypercube, under some (three) assumptions on the edges to achieve uniformity for the marginals. This construction achieves the smallest Kullback-Leibler divergence between the resulting joint and the product of uniforms. And it can be furthermore constrained to be d-countermonotonic, ie such that a non-linear sum of the components is constant. We also show that the proposal leads to closed-form Kendall’s τ and Spearman’s ρ. Which can be used to assess different d-countermonotonic schemes, incl. earlier ones found in the literature. The antithetic sampling proposal can be applied in Monte Carlo, Markov chain Monte Carlo, and sequential Monte Carlo settings. In a stochastic volatility example of the later (SMC) we achieve performances similar to the quasi-Monte Carlo approach of Mathieu Gerber and Nicolas Chopin.

3-D bridge now opened!

Posted in pictures, Statistics, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on July 31, 2021 by xi'an

The 3D printed bridge I had mentioned in a previous blog was installed and officially opened over an Amsterdam canal, last month. Besides the company printing this steel bridge, over six months, researchers from the Turing Institute, including my friend Mark Girolami, developed a virtual version of the bridge using embedded sensors to monitor the behaviour and evolution of the real bridge over time and usage. Next time I am in the city, I’ll make sure to run bridge sampling!

Fondamenta dei Ormesini [snapshot]

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on June 2, 2019 by xi'an

Ponte Foscari [jatp]

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel, University life with tags , , , , , , , on October 29, 2016 by xi'an

bruggen in Amsterdam

Posted in pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , on April 25, 2015 by xi'an

Amster2Amster1

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