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Title: Rates of convergence of variance-gamma approximations via Stein's method
Author: Gaunt, Robert E.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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Stein's method is a powerful technique that can be used to obtain bounds for approximation errors in a weak convergence setting. The method has been used to obtain approximation results for a number of distributions, such as the normal, Poisson and Gamma distributions. A major strength of the method is that it is often relatively straightforward to apply it to problems involving dependent random variables. In this thesis, we consider the adaptation of Stein's method to the class of Variance-Gamma distributions. We obtain a Stein equation for the Variance-Gamma distributions. Uniform bounds for the solution of the Symmetric Variance-Gamma Stein equation and its first four derivatives are given in terms of the supremum norms of derivatives of the test function. New formulas and inequalities for modified Bessel functions are obtained, which allow us to obtain these bounds. We then use local approach couplings to obtain bounds on the error in approximating two asymptotically Variance-Gamma distributed statistics by their limiting distribution. In both cases, we obtain a convergence rate of order n-1 for suitably smooth test functions. The product of two normal random variables has a Variance-Gamma distribution and this leads us to consider the development of Stein's method to the product of r independent mean-zero normal random variables. An elegant Stein equation is obtained, which motivates a generalisation of the zero bias transformation. This new transformation has a number of interesting properties, which we exploit to prove some limit theorems for statistics that are asymptotically distributed as the product of two central normal distributions. The Variance-Gamma and Product Normal distributions arise as functions of the multivariate normal distribution. We end this thesis by demonstrating how the multivariate normal Stein equation can be used to prove limit theorems for statistics that are asymptotically distributed as a function of the multivariate normal distribution. We establish some sufficient conditions for convergence rates to be of order n-1 for smooth test functions, and thus faster than the O(n-1/2) rate that would arise from the Berry-Esseen Theorem. We apply the multivariate normal Stein equation approach to prove Variance-Gamma and Product Normal limit theorems, and we also consider an application to Friedman's X2 statistic.
Supervisor: Reinert, Gesine Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Probability ; Stein's method ; Variance-Gamma distribution ; product normal distribution ; chi-square distribution ; functions of multivariate normal random variables ; rate of convergence ; coupling ; distributional transformation ; Friedman's statistic