Table of Contents
ISRN Probability and Statistics
Volume 2012, Article ID 345784, 18 pages
Research Article

Semiparametric Gaussian Variance-Mean Mixtures for Heavy-Tailed and Skewed Data

Department of Statistical Science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA

Received 29 October 2012; Accepted 20 November 2012

Academic Editors: A. Guillou, É. Marchand, and C. Proppe

Copyright © 2012 Kai Cui. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is a need for new classes of flexible multivariate distributions that can capture heavy tails and skewness without being so flexible as to fully incur the curse of dimensionality intrinsic to nonparametric density estimation. We focus on the family of Gaussian variance-mean mixtures, which have received limited attention in multivariate settings beyond simple special cases. By using a Bayesian semiparametric approach, we allow the data to infer about the unknown mixing distribution. Properties are considered and an approach to posterior computation is developed relying on Markov chain Monte Carlo. The methods are evaluated through simulation studies and applied to a variety of applications, illustrating their flexible performance in characterizing heavy tails, tail dependence, and skewness.