A binned likelihood for stochastic models. (English) Zbl 1416.62698

Summary: Metrics of model goodness-of-fit, model comparison, and model parameter estimation are the main categories of statistical problems in science. Bayesian and frequentist methods that address these questions often rely on a likelihood function, which is the key ingredient in order to assess the plausibility of model parameters given observed data. In some complex systems or experimental setups, predicting the outcome of a model cannot be done analytically, and Monte Carlo techniques are used. In this paper, we present a new analytic likelihood that takes into account Monte Carlo uncertainties, appropriate for use in the large and small sample size limits. Our formulation performs better than semi-analytic methods, prevents strong claims on biased statements, and provides improved coverage properties compared to available methods.


62P35 Applications of statistics to physics
85A35 Statistical astronomy
65C05 Monte Carlo methods
Full Text: DOI arXiv


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