"Monte Carlo simulations (MCSs) provide important information about statistical phenomena that would be impossible to assess otherwise. This article introduces MCS methods and their applications to research and statistical pedagogy using a novel software package for the R Project for Statistical Computing constructed to lessen the often steep learning curve when organizing simulation code. A primary goal of this article is to demonstrate how well-suited MCS designs are to classroom demonstrations, and how they provide a hands-on method for students to become acquainted with complex statistical concepts. In this article, essential programming aspects for writing MCS code in R are overviewed, multiple applied examples with relevant code are provided, and the benefits of using a generate–analyze–summarize coding structure over the typical "for-loop" strategy are discussed."
Monte Carlo tree search has brought significant improvements to the level of computer players in games such as Go, but so far it has not been used very extensively in games of strongly imperfect information with a dynamic board and an emphasis on risk management and decision making under uncertainty. In this paper we explore its application to the game of Kriegspiel (invisible chess), providing three Monte Carlo methods of increasing strength for playing the game with little specific knowledge. We compare these Monte Carlo agents to the strongest known minimax-based Kriegspiel player, obtaining significantly better results with a considerably simpler logic and less domain-specific knowledge.
Despite their exceptional flexibility and popularity, the Monte Carlo methods often suffer from slow mixing times for challenging statistical physics problems. We present a general strategy to overcome this difficulty by adopting ideas and techniques from the machine learning community. We fit the unnormalized probability of the physical model to a feedforward neural network and reinterpret the architecture as a restricted Boltzmann machine. Then, exploiting its feature detection ability, we utilize the restricted Boltzmann machine for efficient Monte Carlo updates and to speed up the simulation of the original physical system. We implement these ideas for the Falicov-Kimball model and demonstrate improved acceptance ratio and autocorrelation time near the phase transition point.
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This technical report is the union of two contributions to the discussion of the Read Paper "Riemann manifold Langevin and Hamiltonian Monte Carlo methods" by B. Calderhead and M. Girolami, presented in front of the Royal Statistical Society on October 13th 2010 and to appear in the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B. The first comment establishes a parallel and possible interactions with Adaptive Monte Carlo methods. The second comment exposes a detailed study of Riemannian Manifold Hamiltonian Monte Carlo (RMHMC) for a weakly identifiable model presenting a strong ridge in its geometry.