The paper “Heretical Multiple Importance Sampling” by V. Elvira, L. Martino, D. Luengo, and M. Bugallo has been accepted for publication in IEEE Signal Processing Letters.
Multiple Importance Sampling (MIS) methods approximate moments of complicated distributions by drawing samples from a set of proposal distributions. Several ways to compute the importance weights assigned to each sample have been recently proposed, with the so-called deterministic mixture (DM) weights providing the best performance in terms of variance, at the expense of an increase in the computational cost. A recent work has shown that it is possible to achieve a trade-off between variance reduction and computational effort by performing an a priori random clustering of the proposals (partial DM algorithm). In this paper, we propose a novel “heretical” MIS framework, where the clustering is performed a posteriori with the goal of reducing the variance of the importance sampling weights. This approach yields biased estimators with a potentially large reduction in variance. Numerical examples show that heretical MIS estimators can outperform, in terms of mean squared error (MSE), both the standard and the partial MIS estimators, achieving a performance close to that of DM with less computational cost.