Dear all,

I have been trying to implement pm.SMC() method in my work by following https://docs.pymc.io/notebooks/ODE_parameter_estimation.html, which is a very nice tutorial. I want to fit the panel data to the same ODE, and indeed I am able to fit it when I have only one common parameter for all instances. However, when I try to fit the parameter which is different to each particular instance, I encounter the following error quite often:

```
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "main.py", line 120, in <module>
trace = pm.sample(1000, progressbar=False, chains=n_chains, step=pm.SMC(), start=startsmc, cores=15)
File "/home/aakhmetz/anaconda3/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pymc3/sampling.py", line 341, in sample
random_seed=random_seed)
File "/home/aakhmetz/anaconda3/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pymc3/step_methods/smc.py", line 202, in sample_smc
proposal = MultivariateNormalProposal(covariance)
File "/home/aakhmetz/anaconda3/lib/python3.6/site-packages/pymc3/step_methods/metropolis.py", line 56, in __init__
self.chol = scipy.linalg.cholesky(s, lower=True)
File "/home/aakhmetz/anaconda3/lib/python3.6/site-packages/scipy/linalg/decomp_cholesky.py", line 91, in cholesky
check_finite=check_finite)
File "/home/aakhmetz/anaconda3/lib/python3.6/site-packages/scipy/linalg/decomp_cholesky.py", line 40, in _cholesky
"definite" % info)
numpy.linalg.LinAlgError: 26-th leading minor of the array is not positive definite
```

Maybe some of you have seen this also, and you could give me an advice. Could it be connected with my bad initial guess on the parameter values? or could it be some kind of bug in pm.SMC? (e.g. I have found the following discussion https://github.com/scikit-learn/scikit-learn/issues/2640)

Thank you very much in advance for any help

ps: As an example, I have an ODE that describe the growth of bacterial population. I may seek to find the growth rate. What I meant above, if I fit it the same growth rate for all samples, I am able to do. But now, if I try to fit to each particular sample, the inference fails.