I am currently working with gam models in the mgcv package and for me the smoothing methods are a bit confusing and I hope that you guys can help me to understand that better. So here is what I've understood so far:
gam models have the advantage that I can model complex functions, meaning I can model continuous variables as functions $f(z)$. But the challenge is to find those $f$ functions.
Some basic approaches are B-Splines, P-Splines, Cubic Splines and Thin Plate Splines.
The default setting in
gam is the thin plate spline. So I was wondering what it basically does. From my understanding so far, the advantage in that method is, that you don't have to specify the number of knots k. You start with the maximal number of knots, then
gam chooses via GCV which k suits best for the function.
Did I get this right?