John von Neumann

Further Bernoulli factories

June 15, 2011 | xi'an

Yesterday, Andrew Thomas and José Blanchet posted a note on the Bernouilli factory on arXiv. This short paper links with the recent paper of Flegal and Herbei I commented earlier. Considering the special target Thomas and Blanchet develop an elaborate scheme of cascading envelopes that converge to f from above. ... [Read more...]

A survey of [the 60’s] Monte Carlo methods

May 16, 2011 | xi'an

“The only good Monte Carlos are the dead Monte Carlos” (Trotter and Tukey, quoted by Halton) When I presented my [partial] history of MCM methods in Bristol two months ago, at the Julian Besag memorial, Christophe Andrieu mentioned a 1970 SIAM survey by John Halton on A retrospective and prospective survey ... [Read more...]

Forsythe’s algorithm

May 8, 2010 | xi'an

In connection with the Bernoulli factory post of last week, Richard Brent arXived a short historical note recalling George Forsythe’s algorithm for simulating variables with density when (the extension to any upper bound is straightforward). The idea is to avoid computing the exponential function by simulating uniforms until since ... [Read more...]

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