Journal article

On the Linearity of Bayesian Interpolators for Non-Gaussian Continuous-Time AR(1) Processes

Bayesian estimation problems involving Gaussian distributions often result in linear estimation techniques. Nevertheless, there are no general statements as to whether the linearity of the Bayesian estimator is restricted to the Gaussian case. The two common strategies for non-Gaussian models are either finding the best linear estimator or numerically evaluating the Bayesian estimator by Monte Carlo methods. In this paper, we focus on Bayesian interpolation of non-Gaussian first-order autoregressive (AR) processes where the driving innovation can admit any symmetric infinitely divisible distribution characterized by the Levy-Khintchine representation theorem. We redefine the Bayesian estimation problem in the Fourier domain with the help of characteristic forms. By providing analytic expressions, we show that the optimal interpolator is linear for all symmetric alpha-stable distributions. The Bayesian interpolator can be expressed in a convolutive form where the kernel is described in terms of exponential splines. We also show that the limiting case of Levy-type AR(1) processes, the system of which has a pole at the origin, always corresponds to a linear Bayesian interpolator made of a piecewise linear spline, irrespective of the innovation distribution. Finally, we show the two mentioned cases to be the only ones within the family for which the Bayesian interpolator is linear.


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