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A Generalized Bayes Rule for Prediction

José Manuel Corcuera and Federica Giummolè
Scandinavian Journal of Statistics
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Jun., 1999), pp. 265-279
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4616555
Page Count: 15
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A Generalized Bayes Rule for Prediction
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Abstract

In the case of prior knowledge about the unknown parameter, the Bayesian predictive density coincides with the Bayes estimator for the true density in the sense of the Kullback-Leibler divergence, but this is no longer true if we consider another loss function. In this paper we present a generalized Bayes rule to obtain Bayes density estimators with respect to any α-divergence, including the Kullback-Leibler divergence and the Hellinger distance. For curved exponential models, we study the asymptotic behaviour of these predictive densities. We show that, whatever prior we use, the generalized Bayes rule improves (in a non-Bayesian sense) the estimative density corresponding to a bias modification of the maximum likelihood estimator. It gives rise to a correspondence between choosing a prior density for the generalized Bayes rule and fixing a bias for the maximum likelihood estimator in the classical setting. A criterion for comparing and selecting prior densities is also given.

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