The BUGS project: Evolution, critique and future directions

Authors

  • David Lunn,

    Corresponding author
    1. Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR, U.K.
    • Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR, U.K.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David Spiegelhalter,

    1. Medical Research Council Biostatistics Unit, Institute of Public Health, University Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 0SR, U.K.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Andrew Thomas,

    1. School of Mathematics and Statistics, Mathematical Institute, North Haugh, St. Andrews, Fife KY16 9SS, U.K.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Nicky Best

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Imperial College London, St. Mary's Campus, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, U.K.
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

BUGS is a software package for Bayesian inference using Gibbs sampling. The software has been instrumental in raising awareness of Bayesian modelling among both academic and commercial communities internationally, and has enjoyed considerable success over its 20-year life span. Despite this, the software has a number of shortcomings and a principal aim of this paper is to provide a balanced critical appraisal, in particular highlighting how various ideas have led to unprecedented flexibility while at the same time producing negative side effects. We also present a historical overview of the BUGS project and some future perspectives. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary