ABC of the future

Henri Pesonen, Umberto Simola, Alvaro Köhn-Luque, Henri Vuollekoski, Xiaoran Lai, Arnoldo Frigessi, Samuel Kaski, David T. Frazier, Worapree Maneesoonthorn, Gael M. Martin, Jukka Corander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) has advanced in two decades from a seminal idea to a practically applicable inference tool for simulator-based statistical models, which are becoming increasingly popular in many research domains. The computational feasibility of ABC for practical applications has been recently boosted by adopting techniques from machine learning to build surrogate models for the approximate likelihood or posterior and by the introduction of a general-purpose software platform with several advanced features, including automated parallelisation. Here we demonstrate the strengths of the advances in ABC by going beyond the typical benchmark examples and considering real applications in astronomy, infectious disease epidemiology, personalised cancer therapy and financial prediction. We anticipate that the emerging success of ABC in producing actual added value and quantitative insights in the real world will continue to inspire a plethora of further applications across different fields of science, social science and technology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Statistical Review
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2022


  • approximate Bayesian computation
  • Bayesian inference
  • likelihood-free inference
  • simulator-based inference
  • SDG 3 – Hyvä terveys ja hyvinvointi
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • ???sustainabledevelopmentgoals.good_health_and_well_being???

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Institute for Data Science and AI
  • Digital Futures
  • Sustainable Futures


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