Speaker: Dr Jamie Cross
Affiliation: University of Queensland (School of Economics)


In several scientific fields important theoretical and practical issues exist involving multimodal discrete data distributions due to heterogeneity of the underlying population. For accurate approximation of such distributions, we propose a novel mixture of shifted Poisson distributions with a flexible number of mixture components, and estimate it with an efficient Sparse Finite Mixture Markov Chain Monte Carlo algorithm. In a simulation exercise, we find that the correct assessment of multimodality is obtained with substantial posterior probability, in contrast to frequentist tests that often fail to reject the null of unimodality. Using micro-datasets in genomics and finance, we show how the framework can deliver information about the quantification of number of modes, their location, and their uncertainty. The proposed methodology may therefore lead to improved prediction and policy analysis with multimodal discrete data.

About Statistics, modelling and operations research seminars

Students, staff and visitors to UQ are welcome to attend our regular seminars.

The events are jointly run by our Operations research and Statistics and probability research groups.

The Statistics, modelling and operations research (SMOR) Seminar series seeks to celebrate and disseminate research and developments across the broad spectrum of quantitative sciences. The SMOR series provides a platform for communication of both theoretical and practical developments, as well as interdisciplinary topics relating to applied mathematics and statistics.


Hawken Engineering Building (50)
Room: T105 (and via Zoom: