Clare McGrory MIPS Portfolio, Mathematical Sciences Queensland University of Technology Location: Carslaw 173 Time: 2pm Friday, April 1, 2011 Title: Variational Bayes for Spatial Data Analysis Abstract: The Variational Bayes method is emerging as a viable alternative to MCMC-based approaches for performing Bayesian inference. The key strengths of the variational Bayes approach are its computational efficiency and ease of implementation. This makes it particularly useful for practical applications where large datasets are frequently encountered. In this talk we will discuss its use for spatial data or image analysis with a focus on hidden Markov random field modelling. The variational approach that we will outline will be illustrated with applications in medical imaging and environmental modelling.