The divide-and-conquer sequential Monte Carlo algorithm: theoretical properties and limit theorems


We revisit the divide-and-conquer sequential Monte Carlo (DaC-SMC) algorithm and firmly establish it as a well-founded method by showing that it possesses the same basic properties as conventional sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) algorithms do. In particular, we derive pertinent laws of large numbers, $L^p$ inequalities, and central limit theorems; and we characterize the bias in the normalized estimates produced by the algorithm and argue the absence thereof in the unnormalized ones. We further consider its practical implementation and several interesting variants; obtain expressions for its globally and locally optimal intermediate targets, auxiliary measures, and proposal kernels; and show that, in comparable conditions, DaC-SMC proves more statistically efficient than its direct SMC analogue. We close the paper with a discussion of our results, open questions, and future research directions.

Annals of Applied Probability (Accepted)
Juan Kuntz
Juan Kuntz
Senior Research Engineer