Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The sampling distribution of parameter estimators can be summarized by moments, fractiles or quantiles. For nonlinear models, these quantities are often approximated by power series, approximated by transformed systems, or estimated by Monte Carlo sampling. A control variate approach based on a linear approximation of the nonlinear model is introduced here to reduce the Monte Carlo sampling necessary to achieve a given accuracy. The particular linear approximation chosen has several advantages: its moments and other properties are known, it is easy to implement, and there is a correspondence to asymptotic results that permits assessment of control variate effectiveness prior to sampling via measures of nonlinearity. Empirical results for several nonlinear problems are presented.
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