In Bayesian statistics a prior distribution formalizes information or knowledge (often subjective), available before a sample is seen, in the form of a probability distribution. A distribution with large spread is used when little is known about the parameter(s), while a more narrow prior ...

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Finding the most “uniform” or “least concentrated” density function, subject to moment constraints

Background I want to find a probability measure for a continuous random variable, subject to moment constraints, that is maximally "uniform", as defined below: Definition: Maximally Uniform ...
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68 views

In Bayesian hypothesis testing, do the prior model probabilities have to be equal?

The posterior odds is the product of the Bayes factor and prior odds: $\frac{p(M_1|data)}{p(M_2|data)}=\frac{p(data|M_1)}{p(data|M_2)}\times\frac{p(M_1)}{p(M_2)}$. I was under the impression that ...
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Is there a desription in the literature of a Normal hierarchical model with hyperparameters for both the mean and the standard deviation?

I'm looking for a comprehensive description of and justification for a Normal hierarchical model where both the means of the groups and the standard deviation are modelled. It is common to find ...
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41 views

Normal prior for Binomial likelihood [closed]

Pardon my ignorance, i am new to Bayesian Analysis. I am trying to use Normal prior for a binomial likelihood, which of these are most likely candidates ( $\bar{x} $, $ \mu $, $ \sigma $ ) ...
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78 views

Prior on a non identifiable parameter-MCMC integration

To introduce the problem I will explain the Projected normal distribution. Let $\mathbf{z}_i=(z_{i1},z_{i2})$ be a bivariate vector distributed as a bivariate normal with vector mean ...
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Setting up this generative model for inference: uniform priors

I am trying to set up a generative model where I have two images $x$ and $y$ and it is assumed that $y$ can be generated by applying some unknown transformation to $x$ i.e. $$ y = t(x, w) + e $$ ...
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36 views

Priors for discriminative methods?

Say we want to build a classifier for a binary classification problem using a discriminative method (e.g. SVM) and be able to impose a prior on the classes. For example, let's assume that we want to ...
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24 views

Conjugate Prior for Probit likelihood function

I am trying to do a Bayesian analysis in which my likelihood function is a probit function on two parameters. From various sources, I found out that Normal distribution is a conjugate prior to probit ...
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27 views

How to model the prior distribution of several Gaussians with known parameters

I might be wrong, I just feel that the following case is different from the problem of modelling observations with a conjugate prior: Suppose I have $n$ different Gaussians each with a different (but ...
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31 views

Haar prior for von Mises distribution

Ok, Let me tell you that this is the very first time that I have no idea with the question below. I can not find a solution or anything that will lead me to it. I say this to prevent comments "what ...
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30 views

Weakly informative priors for “r.v. $\mathbf{x}$ is not close to $\mathbf{x}_0$”?

Given some fixed vector $\mathbf{x}_0\in\mathbb{R}^d$, I want to put a prior on a random variable $\mathbf{x}\in\mathbb{R}^d$ so that "it's not very close to $\mathbf{x}_0$". For the moment I put a ...
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36 views

Defining constraint on prior with potential class

I have written an MCMC code in order to estimate parameters Xpos, Ypos, MASS and concentration with a set of input data gal_pos, ...
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155 views

What does it mean to integrate over the posterior?

I have been reading a book that cites an example where a uniform distribution is the initial prior, and then a person scores 9/10 on a test. Then the resulting posterior becomes the prior ...
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58 views

How to construct a reasonable prior and likelihood for Bayes modelling?

To apply Bayes inference for data analysis or machine learning, we have to construct prior and likelihood, right? But if I fail to come up with a reasonable prior and likelihood, then the Bayes model ...
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36 views

learning hyper parameters: are we allowed to touch the prior parameters after observing the data?

There are many algorithms/applications that aim to learn the hyper parameters i.e. the parameters of a prior distribution from the observed data. A typical algorithm works in an iterative function ...
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44 views

Use of the Jeffreys prior in multidimensional models

Suppose a model, $$x_{i} \sim N(\theta_{i}, \phi), \text{ for } i=1,\ldots,n$$ Furthermore, suppose the variance parameter, $\phi$, is some known constant. The multidimensional Jeffreys prior is ...
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37 views

Gibbs sampling with Log-Normal observations

I am writing a Gibbs sampler for data that is Log-Normal (LN) distributed, with unknown mean and variance. There is a wealth of information on inference for LN models when either the mean or variance ...
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Prior over transition matrices of markov chain

I want to be able to marginalize over the transition matrix of a markov model. The goal is to get the marginal likelihood on the number of states necessary to explain the data. Something that would ...
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335 views

How can an improper prior lead to a proper posterior distribution?

We know that in the case of a proper prior distribution, $P(\theta \mid X) = \dfrac{P(X \mid \theta)P(\theta)}{P(X)}$ $ \propto P(X \mid \theta)P(\theta)$. The usual justification for this step is ...
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46 views

Are discrete single value prior distributions always lost in MAP estimation?

I’d like to illustrate my problem with a little (heavily abbreviated) excercise. I think it will help a lot to stress my point. Meet Mary, Tom and Jane. They all are programmers. Mary is a decent ...
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1answer
51 views

Non-binomial posteriors for a binomial prior?

Let's assume we have a discrete binary random variable K (K=0 or K=1) for which the prior distribution is binomial. My understanding of Bayesian statistics tells me that regardless of the likelihood, ...
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35 views

How should I construct a prior distribution with a particular kind of count data

For context I will first explain the overall problem that I am working on. I am given a catalog of product names and I am also given a large text dataset that may contain mentions of these catalog ...
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244 views

You observe k heads out of n tosses. Is the coin fair?

I was asked this question with $(n, k) = (400, 220)$ in an interview. Is there a "correct" answer? Assume the tosses are i.i.d. and the probability of heads is $p=0.5$. The distribution of the ...
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275 views

Ridge regression – Bayesian interpretation

I have heard that ridge regression can be derived as the mean of a posterior distribution, if the prior is adequately chosen. Is the intuition that the constraints as set on the regression ...
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43 views

Distribution of a Mean and Variance

Say we have observations $x_1 \dots x_n$ and we have some sort of Bayesian framework where we would like to estimate a distribution for the mean $\mu$ of our observations and the variance $\sigma^2$ ...
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149 views

Hyper-prior for negative binomial in hierarchical model using JAGS/BUGS

Below I'm using a negative binomial because it is more flexible than a simple poisson model. The data are counts $y$ of events for 16 individuals $x$. There are 14 counts (i.e. counting periods) for ...
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49 views

Univariate priors for the parameters of a Beta distribution

I need a rather a prior on the parameters of a Beta distribution (i.e. $\alpha$ and $\beta$). I have an external constraint that requires me to use univariate priors, one for $\alpha$ and one ...
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11 views

Applying Beta distribution for calculation latent variables

I would like to find the probability distribution function for the below scenario,its similar to Computer Adaptive technique (IRT) I need to estimate the ability of a student from answered questions ...
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49 views

Non-informative prior for Poisson/gamma density

In the Albert book on Bayesian computation with R, exercise 4.8.5 (p.83), it is suggested to use $$ p(a, b) \sim (a \times b)^{-2} $$ as the non-informative prior for the Poisson/Gamma model: $$ ...
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26 views

Calculating posterior and prior odds

Question: Now, I'm confused about assigning probabilities here. I find $P(A^c|E) = (.001)(.99) = .00099$ and $P(E|A) = .99$, but what about the first two sentences? Does that mean that $P(E) = .001$ ...
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79 views

Can likelihood be changed when the prior changes?

I have a data which follows gamma distribution and want to know the uncertainty of the parameters of this data. $\text{Data} \sim \text{Gamma} (\alpha, \beta)$ Parameters $\alpha \sim \text{Gamma} ...
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23 views

Marginal Likelihood Prior

I have a model with probability matrix for a distribution of $x$, $y=\{0,1\}$, $p(x,y|w)$ where $w=[w_1,w_2,w_3,w_4]$ $p(x=0,y=0)=w_1$, $p(x=0,y=1)=w_2$ $p(x=1,y=0)=w_3$, ...
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54 views

How can a uniform prior make the posterior mean different from the MLE?

I read the following in Machine Learning: A Probabilistic Perspective: How can a uniform prior move the posterior mean? Isn't a uniform distribution supposed to not bias the result? Are there any ...
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85 views

Log odds as prior

I have this problem: In betting situations one is often interested in odds, referring in the thumbtack tossing $\theta / (1 - \theta)$. Alternatively one may consider the log-odds: ...
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99 views

Prior Gamma distribution: Select appropriate alpha given beta and median

I am trying to programatically select a prior distribution from the Gamma family of distributions. The primary criteria that I need to satisfy is that the median of the distribution should be a given ...
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37 views

Prior predictive with discrete prior

I'm working with a uniform distribution as a prior, defined as: $\pi(\theta) = \begin{cases} \frac{1}{7} & \text{if } \theta\in\{0,\frac{1}{6},\frac{2}{6},\ldots,1\} \\ 0 & ...
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1answer
82 views

Probabilistic modelling MCMC question with pyMC

This is my first post and I am a newby in pymc. I am trying to model a non-linear system (see below for a further explanation). I create my synthetic data with: ...
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61 views

Explicit prior versus implicit prior

I am reading a paper where they talk about keeping a prior explicit as opposed to an implicit prior. To be honest, I have never came across the terms explicit/implicit in context of priors and I was ...
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Figuring out quantiles in quantile regression

Suppose I have a dataset $\{y_i,x_i\}$ $i=1,2,...n$. For the response variable, $y_i$ as per quantile regression I have the following likelihood: $$p(y_i|\beta,\alpha_i,\sigma) ...
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what does “a distribution over distributions” mean?

I am reading a pdf about Dirichlet Process, and it said "A Dirichlet Process is also a distribution over distributions." anyone could explain this in plain English what does it mean by that? thanks ...
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Why not use Beta(1,1) as boundary avoiding prior on a transformed correlation parameter?

In Bayesian Data Analysis, chapter 13, page 317, second full paragraph, in the modal and distributional approximations, Gelman et al. write: If the plan is to summarize inference by the posterior ...
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Posterior very different to prior and likelihood

If the prior and the likelihood are very different from each other, then sometimes a situation occurs where the posterior is similar to neither of them. See for example this picture, which uses normal ...
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79 views

Specification of logical node (with distribution?) in WINBUGS

For a piece of homework I have an assignment using WINBUGS which I must admit confuses me to say the least. Tangential to my question but I have a few stochastic nodes that are to be gamma ...
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244 views

Why does nobody use the Bayesian multinomial Naive Bayes classifier?

So in (unsupervised) text modeling, Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) is a Bayesian version of Probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis (PLSA). Essentially, LDA = PLSA + Dirichlet prior over its ...
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24 views

Classification model that allows changing priors at prediction time

I would like to know if there's a way to build a classification model in R that would allow me to change the class weights at prediction time. The scenario where I would want to do this: I have a ...
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generating covariance matrices from multiple priors

In many optimisation problems, one typically uses many forms of regularisations over the parameters that is being estimated. For example, a typical cost function (to maximise) may look like this: $$ ...
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131 views

Negative binomial jeffreys prior

The negative binomial distribution is NB($m,r$), $$\Pr(X = k) = \left(\frac{r}{r+m}\right)^r \frac{\Gamma(r+k)}{k! \, \Gamma(r)} \left(\frac{m}{r+m}\right)^k \quad\text{for }k = 0, 1, 2, \dots.$$ I'm ...
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Could prior elicitation by actually drawing the density of the prior be sensible? Has it been done/discussed?

Somebody mentioned, I don't remember who, that "there are many ways to specify the prior, you could even draw it!". It is clear to me that it is possible to actually draw the density of the prior ...
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302 views

Example of “real life” use of Bayesian inference on $\mu$ from a normal distribution?

A classic example for students, when teaching Bayesian statistics, is to make inference on the mean parameter $\mu$ of a normal distribution, when it has a prior normal distribution. I would like to ...
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Prior elicitation with Normal-Gamma or Normal-Inverse-Gamma

I am looking for a way to have experts elicit a prior for a Normal-Inverse-Gamma Bayesian linear regression model. Is there any material suggesting intuitive ways to go about this?