Asymptotic properties of bayes risk of a general class of shrinkage priors in multiple hypothesis testing under sparsity

Prasenjit Ghosh, Xueying Tang, Malay Ghosh, Arijit Chakrabarti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Consider the problem of simultaneous testing for the means of independent normal observations. In this paper, we study some asymptotic optimality properties of certain multiple testing rules induced by a general class of one-group shrinkage priors in a Bayesian decision theoretic framework, where the overall loss is taken as the number of misclassified hypotheses. We assume a two-groups normal mixture model for the data and consider the asymptotic framework adopted in Bogdan et al. (2011) who introduced the notion of asymptotic Bayes optimality under sparsity in the context of multiple testing. The general class of one-group priors under study is rich enough to include, among others, the families of three parameter beta, generalized double Pareto priors, and in particular the horseshoe, the normal-exponential-gamma and the Strawderman-Berger priors. We establish that within our chosen asymptotic framework, the multiple testing rules under study asymptotically attain the risk of the Bayes Oracle up to a multiplicative factor, with the constant in the risk close to the constant in the Oracle risk. This is similar to a result obtained in Datta and Ghosh (2013) for the multiple testing rule based on the horseshoe estimator introduced in Carvalho et al. (2009, 2010). We further show that under very mild assumption on the underlying sparsity parameter, the induced decisions using an empirical Bayes estimate of the corresponding global shrinkage parameter proposed by van der Pas et al. (2014), asymptotically attain the optimal Bayes risk up to the same multiplicative factor. We provide a unifying argument applicable for the general class of priors under study. In the process, we settle a conjecture regarding optimality property of the generalized double Pareto priors made in Datta and Ghosh (2013). Our work also shows that the result in Datta and Ghosh (2013) can be improved further.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)753-796
Number of pages44
JournalBayesian Analysis
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Asymptotic optimality
  • Bayes Oracle
  • Empirical Bayes
  • Generalized double pareto
  • Horseshoe
  • Normal-exponential-gamma
  • Strawderman-Berger
  • Three parameter beta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Applied Mathematics


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