Bayesian Inference Using Gibbs Sampling (BUGS) for IRT Models

Authored by: Matthew S. Johnson

Handbook of Item Response Theory

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466514331
eBook ISBN: 9781315117430
Adobe ISBN:


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BUGS (Bayesian inference Using Gibbs Sampling) is a general-purpose software for performing Bayesian inference for a wide variety of statistical models. After a user describes the statistical model and provides the observed data to the software, BUGS produces a Markov chain that has as its limiting distribution the joint posterior distribution of the model parameters given the observed data. By repeatedly drawing new parameter values from the Markov chain, the BUGS software produces Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) samples that can be used to approximate various posterior quantities of interest, such as the posterior mean or posterior variance.

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