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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Prior elicitation in multiple change-point models

Koop, Gary and Potter, Simon M. (2004) Prior elicitation in multiple change-point models. Working paper. University of Leicester.

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This paper discusses Bayesian inference in change-point models. Existing approaches involve placing a (possibly hierarchical) prior over a known number of change-points. We show how two popular priors have some potentially undesirable properties (e.g. allocating excessive prior weight to change-points near the end of the sample) and discuss how these properties relate to imposing a fixed number of changepoints in-sample. We develop a new hierarchical approach which allows some of of change-points to occur out-of sample. We show that this prior has desirable properties and handles the case where the number of change-points is unknown. Our hierarchical approach can be shown to nest a wide variety of change-point models, from timevarying parameter models to those with few (or no) breaks. Since our prior is hierarchical, data-based learning about the parameter which controls this variety occurs.