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5 Finite Mixtures

Finite mixture models of an outcome assume that the outcome is drawn from one of several distributions, the identity of which is controlled by a categorical mixing distribution. Mixture models typically have multimodal densities with modes near the modes of the mixture components. Mixture models may be parameterized in several ways, as described in the following sections. Mixture models may be used directly for modeling data with multimodal distributions, or they may be used as priors for other parameters.