Repelled point processes with application to numerical integration

by   Diala Hawat, et al.

Linear statistics of point processes yield Monte Carlo estimators of integrals. While the simplest approach relies on a homogeneous Poisson point process, more regularly spread point processes, such as scrambled low-discrepancy sequences or determinantal point processes, can yield Monte Carlo estimators with fast-decaying mean square error. Following the intuition that more regular configurations result in lower integration error, we introduce the repulsion operator, which reduces clustering by slightly pushing the points of a configuration away from each other. Our main theoretical result is that applying the repulsion operator to a homogeneous Poisson point process yields an unbiased Monte Carlo estimator with lower variance than under the original point process. On the computational side, the evaluation of our estimator is only quadratic in the number of integrand evaluations and can be easily parallelized without any communication across tasks. We illustrate our variance reduction result with numerical experiments and compare it to popular Monte Carlo methods. Finally, we numerically investigate a few open questions on the repulsion operator. In particular, the experiments suggest that the variance reduction also holds when the operator is applied to other motion-invariant point processes.


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