On the History of ABC

Authored by: Simon Tavaré

Handbook of Approximate Bayesian Computation

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781439881507
eBook ISBN: 9781315117195
Adobe ISBN:


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What follows is a personal view of the evolution of ABC – approximate Bayesian computation – up to 2003 and it is certainly not intended to be an exhaustive review. ABC arose as an inferential method in population genetics to address estimation of parameters of interest such as mutation rates and demographic parameters in cases where the underlying probability models had intractable likelihoods. To set the scene I will give a very brief introduction to genealogical trees and the effects of mutation, focusing on the simplest case in which a panmictic population is assumed to be very large and of constant size N and within which there is no recombination. The treatment follows that in Tavaré (2004).

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