Estimation and uncertainty of reversible Markov models

J Chem Phys. 2015 Nov 7;143(17):174101. doi: 10.1063/1.4934536.


Reversibility is a key concept in Markov models and master-equation models of molecular kinetics. The analysis and interpretation of the transition matrix encoding the kinetic properties of the model rely heavily on the reversibility property. The estimation of a reversible transition matrix from simulation data is, therefore, crucial to the successful application of the previously developed theory. In this work, we discuss methods for the maximum likelihood estimation of transition matrices from finite simulation data and present a new algorithm for the estimation if reversibility with respect to a given stationary vector is desired. We also develop new methods for the Bayesian posterior inference of reversible transition matrices with and without given stationary vector taking into account the need for a suitable prior distribution preserving the meta-stable features of the observed process during posterior inference. All algorithms here are implemented in the PyEMMA software-- of version 2.0.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't