# Bayesian Prediction Simple Explanation

I have read through other questions on the site and I feel that none provide a great answer to this question. Simply put - could anyone explain, common approaches for generating predictions on new unseen data with a Bayesian model.

For example, suppose you have a simple linear regression: $$y = \alpha + \beta * x$$

Which under a probabilistic framework is given by:

$$y \sim N(\mu = \alpha + \beta *x, \sigma = \epsilon)$$

We set prior distributions for the parameters $$\alpha, \beta$$ and $$\epsilon$$ and with our training data $$X_{train}$$ we return samples from posterior to obtain posterior distributions across these parameters.

My question is, given new data $$X_{new}$$, how are predictions then made on that data?

For example, would you:

• For each new data point in $$X_{new}$$, take the posterior samples from the 'training' process, and calculate $$Y_{new}$$ using combinations of coefficients from the posterior samples (for a given data point in $$X_{new}$$) - to generate a vector of predictions for each data point in $$X_{new}$$?

Correct.

You have draws from posterior, so for a new $$x_i$$ the corresponding prediction for $$\mu$$ is $$\dfrac{1}{N} \sum _i \alpha_i + \beta_i x%$$. If you're familliar with rstanarm, this is what posterior_linpred does. Since the predictor is linear, this should be equal to $$E(\alpha) + E(\beta)x$$, where $$E$$ is the expectation. Here is an example using Stan.

Let's first set up the model and fit it.

library(tidyverse)
library(tidybayes)
library(cmdstanr)

model_code = '
data{
int N;
vector[N] x;
vector[N] y;
}
parameters{
real alpha;
real beta;
real<lower=0> sigma;
}
model{
alpha ~ normal(0,1);
beta ~ normal(0,1);
sigma ~ cauchy(0,1);
y ~ normal(alpha + beta*x, sigma);
}
generated quantities{
real yppc[N] = normal_rng(alpha + beta*x, sigma);
}
'
fl = write_stan_file(model_code)
model = cmdstan_model(fl)

N = 10
x = rnorm(N)
y = 2*x + 1 + rnorm(N, 0, 0.45)
model_data = list(N=N, x=x, y=y)
fit = model$sample(model_data, parallel_chains=4)  Now, extract the draws beta = as.numeric(fit$draws('beta'))
alpha = as.numeric(fit$draws('alpha')) sigma = as.numeric(fit$draws('sigma'))


Let's say I want to make a prediction for $$x=3$$. I should compute $$\alpha_i + \beta_i \cdot 3$$ for all my posterior $$\alpha_i, \beta_i$$. In R...

prediction = alpha + beta*3
hist(prediction) Note that we get a distribution of possible values. Our prediction in this case is the mean of this distribution

mean(prediction)
>>>7.281336


Which is close to the true value of 7.