Yesterday's question Determine accuracy of model which estimates probability of event got me curious about probability scoring.

The Brier score $$\frac{1}{N}\sum\limits _{i=1}^{N}(\text{prediction}_i - \text{reference}_i)^2$$ is a mean squared error measure. Does the analogous mean absolute error performance measure
$$\frac{1}{N}\sum\limits _{i=1}^{N}|\text{prediction}_i - \text{reference}_i|$$ have a name, too?

  • $\begingroup$ Google allowed me to find this paper where something very similar is named $L_1$-calibration score. Note that this score is a bit different than yours, anyway "$L_1$ score" seems the good keyword. $\endgroup$
    – Elvis
    Jan 4, 2012 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ What search terms did you use? Googling I mainly learned how many different tumour scores exist (L1 meaning lymphnode involvement in that context)... $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2012 at 8:12
  • $\begingroup$ Something like "L1 score probability"... may be I've been lucky $\endgroup$
    – Elvis
    Jan 5, 2012 at 8:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Or google tries to help me and thinks I'm looking for tumours because that's what I do more often... "probability near score L1" got me to the paper below. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2012 at 8:24

1 Answer 1


Answer seems to be: no, because MAE doesn't lead to a proper scoring rule.

See Loss Functions for Binary Class Probability Estimation and Classification: Structure and Applications where the MAE is discussed under "Counterexamples of proper scoring rules".


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