Bootstrap recycling: A Monte Carlo alternative to the nested bootstrap

Bootstrap recycling: A Monte Carlo alternative to the nested bootstrap

Michael A. Newton and Charles J. Geyer

1994 Journal of the American Statistical Association, 89, 905-912.


A Monte Carlo algorithm is described which can be used in place of the nested bootstrap. It is particularly advantageous when there is a premium on the number of bootstrap samples; either because samples are hard to generate or because expensive computations are applied to each sample. This {\it recycling} algorithm is useful because it enables inference procedures like prepivoting and bootstrap iteration in models where nested bootstrapping is computationally impractical. Implementation of the {\it recycling} algorithm is quite straightforward. As a replacement of the double bootstrap, for example, bootstrap recycling involves two stages of sampling as does the double bootstrap. The first stage of both algorithms is the same: simulate from the fitted model. In the second stage of recycling, one batch of samples is simulated from one measure; a measure dominating all the first stage fits. These samples are recycled with each first-stage sample to yield estimated adjustments to the original inference procedure. Choice of this second stage measure affects efficiency of the recycling algorithm. Gains in efficiency are slight for the nonparametric bootstrap, but can be substantial in parametric problems. Applications are given to testing with sparse contingency tables and to construction of likelihood-based confidence sets in a hidden Markov model from hematology.

Keywords: nested bootstrap, prepivot, bootstrap diagnostics, Monte Carlo, composite hypothesis