Understanding approximate Bayesian computation(ABC)
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The Bayesian approach has been developed in various areas and has come to be part of main stream statistical research. Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods have freed us from computational constraints for a wide class of models and several MCMC methods are now available for sampling from posterior distributions. However, when data is large and models are complex and the likelihood function is intractable we are limited in the use of MCMC, especially in evaluating likelihood function. As a solution to the problem, researchers have put forward approximate Bayesian computation (ABC), also known as a likelihood-free method. In this report I introduce the ABC algorithm and show implementation for a stochastic volatility model (SV). Even though there are alternative methods for analyzing SV models, such as particle filters and other MCMC methods, I show the ABC method with an SV model and compare it, based on the same data and the SV model, to an approach based on a mixture of normals and MCMC.