Drift, Minorization, and Hitting Times


The “drift-and-minorization” method, introduced and popularized in (Rosenthal, 1995; Meyn and Tweedie, 1994; Meyn and Tweedie, 2012), remains the most popular approach for bounding the convergence rates of Markov chains used in statistical computation. This approach requires estimates of two quantities: the rate at which a single copy of the Markov chain “drifts” towards a fixed “small set”, and a “minorization condition” which gives the worst-case time for two Markov chains started within the small set to couple with moderately large probability. In this paper, we build on (Oliveira, 2012; Peres and Sousi, 2015) and our work (Anderson, Duanmu, Smith, 2019a; Anderson, Duanmu, Smith, 2019b) to replace the “minorization condition” with an alternative “hitting condition” that is stated in terms of only one Markov chain.

Minor revision requested (J. Appl. Prob.)