Empirical bayes selection of wavelet thresholds

  • Johnstone I
  • Silverman B
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Abstract

This paper explores a class of empirical Bayes methods for level-dependent threshold selection in wavelet shrinkage. The prior considered for each wavelet coefficient is a mixture of an atom of probability at zero and a heavy-tailed density. The mixing weight, or sparsity parameter, for each level of the transform is chosen by marginal maximum likelihood. If estimation is carried out using the posterior median, this is a random thresholding procedure; the estimation can also be carried out using other thresholding rules with the same threshold. Details of the calculations needed for implementing the procedure are included. In practice, the estimates are quick to compute and there is software available. Simulations on the standard model functions show excellent performance, and applications to data drawn from various fields of application are used to explore the practical performance of the approach. By using a general result on the risk of the corresponding marginal maximum likelihood approach for a single sequence, overall bounds on the risk of the method are found subject to membership of the unknown function in one of a wide range of Besov classes, covering also the case of f of bounded variation. The rates obtained are optimal for any value of the parameter p in (0,\infty], simultaneously for a wide range of loss functions, each dominating the L_q norm of the \sigmath derivative, with \sigma\ge0 and 0

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adaptivity
  • Bayesian inference
  • Nonparametric regression
  • Smoothing
  • Sparsity

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Authors

  • Iain M. Johnstone

  • Bernard W. Silverman

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