Bayesian additive regression trees (BART) (Chipman et. al., 2010) is a powerful predictive model that often outperforms alternative models at out-of-sample prediction. BART is especially well-suited to settings with unstructured predictor variables and substantial sources of unmeasured variation as is typical in the social, behavioral and health sciences. This paper develops a modified version of BART that is amenable to fast posterior estimation. We present a stochastic hill climbing algorithm that matches the remarkable predictive accuracy of previous BART implementations, but is many times faster and less memory intensive. Simulation studies show that the new method is comparable in computation time and more accurate at function estimation than both random forests and gradient boosting.
Additive regression trees are flexible non-parametric models and popular off-the-shelf tools for real-world non-linear regression. In application domains, such as bioinformatics, where there is also demand for probabilistic predictions with measures of uncertainty, the Bayesian additive regression trees (BART) model, introduced by Chipman et al. (2010), is increasingly popular. As data sets have grown in size, however, the standard Metropolis-Hastings algorithms used to perform inference in BART are proving inadequate. In particular, these Markov chains make local changes to the trees and suffer from slow mixing when the data are high-dimensional or the best fitting trees are more than a few layers deep. We present a novel sampler for BART based on the Particle Gibbs (PG) algorithm (Andrieu et al., 2010) and a top-down particle filtering algorithm for Bayesian decision trees (Lakshminarayanan et al., 2013). Rather than making local changes to individual trees, the PG sampler proposes a complete tree to fit the residual. Experiments show that the PG sampler outperforms existing samplers in many settings.
Graphical models provide powerful tools to uncover complicated patterns in multivariate data and are commonly used in Bayesian statistics and machine learning. In this paper, we introduce an R package BDgraph which performs Bayesian structure learning for general undirected graphical models with either continuous or discrete variables. The package efficiently implements recent improvements in the Bayesian literature. To speed up computations, the computationally intensive tasks have been implemented in C++ and interfaced with R. In addition, the package contains several functions for simulation and visualization, as well as two multivariate datasets taken from the literature and are used to describe the package capabilities. The paper includes a brief overview of the statistical methods which have been implemented in the package. The main body of the paper explains how to use the package. Furthermore, we illustrate the package's functionality in both real and artificial examples, as well as in an extensive simulation study.
We propose a novel "tree-averaging" model that utilizes the ensemble of classification and regression trees (CART). Each constituent tree is estimated with a subset of similar data. We treat this grouping of subsets as Bayesian ensemble trees (BET) and model them as an infinite mixture Dirichlet process. We show that BET adapts to data heterogeneity and accurately estimates each component. Compared with the bootstrap-aggregating approach, BET shows improved prediction performance with fewer trees. We develop an efficient estimating procedure with improved sampling strategies in both CART and mixture models. We demonstrate these advantages of BET with simulations, classification of breast cancer and regression of lung function measurement of cystic fibrosis patients. Keywords: Bayesian CART; Dirichlet Process; Ensemble Approach; Heterogeneity; Mixture of Trees.