Abstract

In this paper, we propose a new approach for sampling from probability measures in, possibly, high-dimensional spaces. By perturbing the standard overdamped Langevin dynamics by a suitable Stratonovich perturbation that preserves the invariant measure of the original system, we show that accelerated convergence to equilibrium and reduced asymptotic variance can be achieved, leading, thus, to a computationally advantageous sampling algorithm. The new perturbed Langevin dynamics is reversible with respect to the target probability measure and, consequently, does not suffer from the drawbacks of the nonreversible Langevin samplers that were introduced in C.-R. Hwang et al. (1993) [1] and studied in, e.g., T. Lelievre et al. (2013) [2] and A.B. Duncan et al. (2016) [3], while retaining all of their advantages in terms of accelerated convergence and reduced asymptotic variance. In particular, the reversibility of the dynamics ensures that there is no oscillatory transient behaviour. The improved performance of the proposed methodology, in comparison to the standard overdamped Langevin dynamics and its nonreversible perturbation, is illustrated on an example of sampling from a two-dimensional warped Gaussian target distribution. Crown Copyright (C) 2019 Published by Elsevier Masson SAS on behalf of Academie des sciences. All rights reserved.

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