Fast Computation of Posterior Mode in Multi-Level Hierarchical Models[PDF] [BibTeX]
Multi-level hierarchical models provide an attractive framework for incorporating correlations induced in a response variable organized in a hierarchy. Model fitting is challenging, especially for hierarchies with large number of nodes. We provide a novel algorithm based on a multi-scale Kalman filter that is both scalable and easy to implement. For non-Gaussian responses, quadratic approximation to the log-likelihood results in biased estimates. We suggest a bootstrap strategy to correct such biases. Our method is illustrated through simulation studies and analyses of real world data sets in health care and online advertising.