Fast estimation of expected information gains for Bayesian experimental designs based on Laplace approximations

by Quan Long, M. Scavino, Raul Tempone, Wang, Suojin
Refereed Journals Year: 2013


Long, Quan; Scavino, Marco; Tempone, Raúl; Wang, Suojin Fast estimation of expected information gains for Bayesian experimental designs based on Laplace approximations. Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 259 (2013), 24–39.


Shannon-type expected information gain can be used to evaluate the relevance of a proposed experiment subjected to uncertainty. The estimation of such gain, however, relies on a double-loop integration. Moreover, its numerical integration in multidimensional cases, e.g., when using Monte Carlo sampling methods, is therefore computationally too expensive for realistic physical models, especially for those involving the solution of partial differential equations. In this work, we present a new methodology, based on the Laplace approximation for the integration of the posterior probability density function (pdf), to accelerate the estimation of the expected information gains in the model parameters and predictive quantities of interest. We obtain a closed-form approximation of the inner integral and the corresponding dominant error term in the cases where parameters are determined by the experiment, such that only a single-loop integration is needed to carry out the estimation of the expected information gain. To deal with the issue of dimensionality in a complex problem, we use a sparse quadrature for the integration over the prior pdf. We demonstrate the accuracy, efficiency and robustness of the proposed method via several nonlinear numerical examples, including the designs of the scalar parameter in an one-dimensional cubic polynomial function, the design of the same scalar in a modified function with two indistinguishable parameters, the resolution width and measurement time for a blurred single peak spectrum, and the boundary source locations for impedance tomography in a square domain.


Reference: CMA9922 PII: S0045-7825(13)00049-2 DOI: 10.1016/j.cma.2013.02.017


Bayesian statistics Information gain Laplace approximation Monte Carlo sampling Sparse quadrature, Uncertainty Quantification