Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B (Statistical Methodology)

Asymptotic behaviour of the posterior distribution in overfitted mixture models

Journal Article

Summary.  We study the asymptotic behaviour of the posterior distribution in a mixture model when the number of components in the mixture is larger than the true number of components: a situation which is commonly referred to as an overfitted mixture. We prove in particular that quite generally the posterior distribution has a stable and interesting behaviour, since it tends to empty the extra components. This stability is achieved under some restriction on the prior, which can be used as a guideline for choosing the prior. Some simulations are presented to illustrate this behaviour.

Related Topics

Related Publications

Related Content

Site Footer


This website is provided by John Wiley & Sons Limited, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 8SQ (Company No: 00641132, VAT No: 376766987)

Published features on are checked for statistical accuracy by a panel from the European Network for Business and Industrial Statistics (ENBIS)   to whom Wiley and express their gratitude. This panel are: Ron Kenett, David Steinberg, Shirley Coleman, Irena Ograjenšek, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Rainer Göb, Philippe Castagliola, Xavier Tort-Martorell, Bart De Ketelaere, Antonio Pievatolo, Martina Vandebroek, Lance Mitchell, Gilbert Saporta, Helmut Waldl and Stelios Psarakis.