On Independent Reference Priors

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Virginia Tech

In Bayesian inference, the choice of prior has been of great interest. Subjective priors are ideal if sufficient information on priors is available. However, in practice, we cannot collect enough information on priors. Then objective priors are a good substitute for subjective priors.

In this dissertation, an independent reference prior based on a class of objective priors is examined. It is a reference prior derived by assuming that the parameters are independent. The independent reference prior introduced by Sun and Berger (1998) is extended and generalized. We provide an iterative algorithm to derive the general independent reference prior. We also propose a sufficient condition under which a closed form of the independent reference prior is derived without going through the iterations in the iterative algorithm. The independent reference prior is then shown to be useful in respect of the invariance and the first order matching property. It is proven that the independent reference prior is invariant under a type of one-to-one transformation of the parameters. It is also seen that the independent reference prior is a first order probability matching prior under a sufficient condition.

We derive the independent reference priors for various examples. It is observed that they are first order matching priors and the reference priors in most of the examples. We also study an independent reference prior in some types of non-regular cases considered by Ghosal (1997).

Independent reference priors, Reference priors, Probability matching priors