We can use lm() to predict a value, but we still need the equation of the result formula in some cases. For example, add the equation to plots.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you please rephrase your question or add some details? I'm quite familiar with R, lm and linear models more generally, but it's not at all clear what, exactly, you want. Can you give an example or something to clarify? Is this for some subject? $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Jul 8 '13 at 3:27
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    $\begingroup$ I guess you want the coefficients of the linear regression formula. Try calling coef() on the fitted lm object, as in: mod <- lm(y ~ x); coef(mod) $\endgroup$ – Jake Westfall Jul 8 '13 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ If you type lm(y~x)$call it tells you the formula is y ~ x. If you mean something different from that, you need to be more specific. $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Jul 8 '13 at 6:47
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    $\begingroup$ Related: How to apply coefficient term for factors and interactive terms in a linear equation? $\endgroup$ – chl Jul 8 '13 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ Worth reading stackoverflow.com/questions/7549694/… $\endgroup$ – mnel Jul 9 '13 at 4:07

Consider this example:

set.seed(5)            # this line will allow you to run these commands on your
                       # own computer & get *exactly* the same output
x = rnorm(50)
y = rnorm(50)

fit = lm(y~x)
# Call:
# lm(formula = y ~ x)
# Residuals:
#      Min       1Q   Median       3Q      Max 
# -2.04003 -0.43414 -0.04609  0.50807  2.48728 
# Coefficients:
#             Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(>|t|)
# (Intercept) -0.00761    0.11554  -0.066    0.948
# x            0.09156    0.10901   0.840    0.405
# Residual standard error: 0.8155 on 48 degrees of freedom
# Multiple R-squared: 0.01449,  Adjusted R-squared: -0.006046 
# F-statistic: 0.7055 on 1 and 48 DF,  p-value: 0.4051 

The question, I'm guessing, is how to figure out the regression equation from R's summary output. Algebraically, the equation for a simple regression model is:
$$ \hat y_i = \hat\beta_0 + \hat\beta_1 x_i + \hat\varepsilon_i \\ \text{where } \varepsilon\sim\mathcal N(0,~\hat\sigma^2) $$ We just need to map the summary.lm() output to these terms. To wit:

  • $\hat\beta_0$ is the Estimate value in the (Intercept) row (specifically, -0.00761)
  • $\hat\beta_1$ is the Estimate value in the x row (specifically, 0.09156)
  • $\hat\sigma$ is the Residual standard error (specifically, 0.8155)

Plugging these in above yields:
$$ \hat y_i = -0.00761~+~0.09156 x_i~+~\hat\varepsilon_i \\ \text{where } \varepsilon\sim\mathcal N(0,~0.8155^2) $$ For a more thorough overview, you may want to read this thread: Interpretation of R's lm() output.

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    $\begingroup$ Given the OP's mention of a wish to put equations on graphs, I've been pondering whether they actually want a function to take the output of lm and produce a character expression like "$\hat y=−0.00761 + 0.09156x$" suitable for such a plotting task (hence my repeated call to clarify what they wanted - which hasn't been done, unfortunately). $\endgroup$ – Glen_b Jul 9 '13 at 3:14

If what you want is to predict scores using your resulting regression equation, you can construct the equation by hand by typing summary(fit) (if your regression analysis is stored in a variable called fit, for example), and looking at the estimates for each coefficient included in your model.

For example, if you have a simple regression of the type $y=\beta_0+\beta_1x+\epsilon$, and you get an estimate of the intercept ($\beta_0$) of +0.5 and an estimate of the effect of x on y ($\beta_1$) of +1.6, you would predict an individual's y score from their x score by computing: $\hat{y}=0.5+1.6x$.

However, this is the hard route. R has a built-in function, predict(), which you can use to automatically compute predicted values given a model for any dataset. For example: predict(fit, newdata=data), if the x scores you want to use to predict y scores are stored in the variable data. (Note that in order to see the predicted scores for the sample on which your regression was performed, you can simply type fit$fitted or fitted(fit); these will give you the predicted, a.k.a. fitted, values.)


If you want to show the equation, like to cut/paste into a doc, but don't want to fuss with putting the entire equation together:

R> library(MASS)
R> crime.lm <- lm(y~., UScrime)
R> cc <- crime.lm$coefficients
R> (eqn <- paste("Y =", paste(round(cc[1],2), paste(round(cc[-1],2), names(cc[-1]), sep=" * ", collapse=" + "), sep=" + "), "+ e"))
[1] "Y = -5984.29 + 8.78 * M + -3.8 * So + 18.83 * Ed + 19.28 * Po1 + -10.94 * Po2 + -0.66 * LF + 1.74 * M.F + -0.73 * Pop + 0.42 * NW + -5.83 * U1 + 16.78 * U2 + 0.96 * GDP + 7.07 * Ineq + -4855.27 * Prob + -3.48 * Time + e"

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