An Efficient Forward-Reverse Expectation-Maximization Algorithm for Statistical Inference in Stochastic Reaction Networks
Abstract: In this work, we present an extension to the context of Stochastic Reaction Networks (SRNs) of the forward-reverse representation introduced in "Simulation of forward-reverse stochastic representations for conditional diffusions", a 2014 paper by Bayer and Schoenmakers.
We apply this stochastic representation in the computation of efficient approximations of expected values of functionals of SNR bridges, i.e., SRNs conditioned to its values in the extremes of given time-intervals.
We then employ this SNR bridge-generation technique to the statistical inference problem of approximating the reaction propensities based on discretely observed data. To this end, we introduce a two-phase iterative inference method in which, during phase I, we solve a set of deterministic optimization problems where the SRNs are replaced by their reaction-rate Ordinary Differential Equations (ODEs) approximation; then, during phase II, we apply the Monte Carlo version of the Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm starting from the phase I output.
By selecting a set of over dispersed seeds as initial points for phase I, the output of parallel runs from our two-phase method is a cluster of approximate maximum likelihood estimates.
Our results are illustrated by numerical examples.