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Bayes Factors
, 1995
"... In a 1935 paper, and in his book Theory of Probability, Jeffreys developed a methodology for quantifying the evidence in favor of a scientific theory. The centerpiece was a number, now called the Bayes factor, which is the posterior odds of the null hypothesis when the prior probability on the null ..."
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Cited by 1012 (70 self)
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In a 1935 paper, and in his book Theory of Probability, Jeffreys developed a methodology for quantifying the evidence in favor of a scientific theory. The centerpiece was a number, now called the Bayes factor, which is the posterior odds of the null hypothesis when the prior probability on the null is onehalf. Although there has been much discussion of Bayesian hypothesis testing in the context of criticism of P values, less attention has been given to the Bayes factor as a practical tool of applied statistics. In this paper we review and discuss the uses of Bayes factors in the context of five scientific applications in genetics, sports, ecology, sociology and psychology.
Benchmark Priors for Bayesian Model Averaging
 FORTHCOMING IN THE JOURNAL OF ECONOMETRICS
, 2001
"... In contrast to a posterior analysis given a particular sampling model, posterior model probabilities in the context of model uncertainty are typically rather sensitive to the specification of the prior. In particular, “diffuse” priors on modelspecific parameters can lead to quite unexpected consequ ..."
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Cited by 99 (5 self)
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In contrast to a posterior analysis given a particular sampling model, posterior model probabilities in the context of model uncertainty are typically rather sensitive to the specification of the prior. In particular, “diffuse” priors on modelspecific parameters can lead to quite unexpected consequences. Here we focus on the practically relevant situation where we need to entertain a (large) number of sampling models and we have (or wish to use) little or no subjective prior information. We aim at providing an “automatic” or “benchmark” prior structure that can be used in such cases. We focus on the Normal linear regression model with uncertainty in the choice of regressors. We propose a partly noninformative prior structure related to a Natural Conjugate gprior specification, where the amount of subjective information requested from the user is limited to the choice of a single scalar hyperparameter g0j. The consequences of different choices for g0j are examined. We investigate theoretical properties, such as consistency of the implied Bayesian procedure. Links with classical information criteria are provided. More importantly, we examine the finite sample implications of several choices of g0j in a simulation study. The use of the MC3 algorithm of Madigan and York (1995), combined with efficient coding in Fortran, makes it feasible to conduct large simulations. In addition to posterior criteria, we shall also compare the predictive performance of different priors. A classic example concerning the economics of crime will also be provided and contrasted with results in the literature. The main findings of the paper will lead us to propose a “benchmark” prior specification in a linear regression context with model uncertainty.
Bayes factors and model uncertainty
 DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS, UNIVERSITY OFWASHINGTON
, 1993
"... In a 1935 paper, and in his book Theory of Probability, Jeffreys developed a methodology for quantifying the evidence in favor of a scientific theory. The centerpiece was a number, now called the Bayes factor, which is the posterior odds of the null hypothesis when the prior probability on the null ..."
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Cited by 90 (6 self)
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In a 1935 paper, and in his book Theory of Probability, Jeffreys developed a methodology for quantifying the evidence in favor of a scientific theory. The centerpiece was a number, now called the Bayes factor, which is the posterior odds of the null hypothesis when the prior probability on the null is onehalf. Although there has been much discussion of Bayesian hypothesis testing in the context of criticism of Pvalues, less attention has been given to the Bayes factor as a practical tool of applied statistics. In this paper we review and discuss the uses of Bayes factors in the context of five scientific applications. The points we emphasize are: from Jeffreys's Bayesian point of view, the purpose of hypothesis testing is to evaluate the evidence in favor of a scientific theory; Bayes factors offer a way of evaluating evidence in favor ofa null hypothesis; Bayes factors provide a way of incorporating external information into the evaluation of evidence about a hypothesis; Bayes factors are very general, and do not require alternative models to be nested; several techniques are available for computing Bayes factors, including asymptotic approximations which are easy to compute using the output from standard packages that maximize likelihoods; in "nonstandard " statistical models that do not satisfy common regularity conditions, it can be technically simpler to calculate Bayes factors than to derive nonBayesian significance
Variable Selection and Model Comparison in Regression
, 1994
"... In the specification of linear regression models it is common to indicate a list of candidate variables from which a subset enters the model with nonzero coefficients. In some cases any combination of variables may enter, but in others certain necessary conditions must be satisfied: e.g., in time se ..."
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Cited by 64 (2 self)
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In the specification of linear regression models it is common to indicate a list of candidate variables from which a subset enters the model with nonzero coefficients. In some cases any combination of variables may enter, but in others certain necessary conditions must be satisfied: e.g., in time series applications it is common to allow a lagged variable only if all shorter lags for the same variable also enter. This paper interprets this specification as a mixed continuousdiscrete prior distribution for coefficient values. It then utilizes a Gibbs sampler to construct posterior moments. It is shown how this method can incorporate sign constraints and provide posterior probabilities for all possible subsets of regressors. The methods are illustrated using some standard data sets.
Objective Bayesian variable selection
 Journal of the American Statistical Association 2006
, 2002
"... A novel fully automatic Bayesian procedure for variable selection in normal regression model is proposed. The procedure uses the posterior probabilities of the models to drive a stochastic search. The posterior probabilities are computed using intrinsic priors, which can be considered default priors ..."
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Cited by 18 (4 self)
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A novel fully automatic Bayesian procedure for variable selection in normal regression model is proposed. The procedure uses the posterior probabilities of the models to drive a stochastic search. The posterior probabilities are computed using intrinsic priors, which can be considered default priors for model selection problems. That is, they are derived from the model structure and are free from tuning parameters. Thus, they can be seen as objective priors for variable selection. The stochastic search is based on a MetropolisHastings algorithm with a stationary distribution proportional to the model posterior probabilities. The procedure is illustrated on both simulated and real examples.
Bayesian Analysis of Long Memory and Persistence using ARFIMA Models
 FORTHCOMING IN THE JOURNAL OF ECONOMETRICS
, 1995
"... This paper provides a Bayesian analysis of Autoregressive Fractionally Integrated Moving Average (ARFIMA) models. We discuss in detail inference on impulse responses, and show how Bayesian methods can be used to (i) test ARFIMA models against ARIMA alternatives, and (ii) take model uncertainty into ..."
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Cited by 15 (1 self)
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This paper provides a Bayesian analysis of Autoregressive Fractionally Integrated Moving Average (ARFIMA) models. We discuss in detail inference on impulse responses, and show how Bayesian methods can be used to (i) test ARFIMA models against ARIMA alternatives, and (ii) take model uncertainty into account when making inferences on quantities of interest. Our methods are then used to investigate the persistence properties of real U.S. GNP.
Reference analysis
 In Handbook of Statistics 25
, 2005
"... This chapter describes reference analysis, a method to produce Bayesian inferential statements which only depend on the assumed model and the available data. Statistical information theory is used to define the reference prior function as a mathematical description of that situation where data would ..."
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Cited by 13 (2 self)
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This chapter describes reference analysis, a method to produce Bayesian inferential statements which only depend on the assumed model and the available data. Statistical information theory is used to define the reference prior function as a mathematical description of that situation where data would best dominate prior knowledge about the quantity of interest. Reference priors are not descriptions of personal beliefs; they are proposed as formal consensus prior functions to be used as standards for scientific communication. Reference posteriors are obtained by formal use of Bayes theorem with a reference prior. Reference prediction is achieved by integration with a reference posterior. Reference decisions are derived by minimizing a reference posterior expected loss. An information theory based loss function, the intrinsic discrepancy, may be used to derive reference procedures for conventional inference problems in scientific investigation, such as point estimation, region estimation and hypothesis testing.
Compatibility of prior specifications across linear models
 Statistical Science
, 2008
"... Abstract. Bayesian model comparison requires the specification of a prior distribution on the parameter space of each candidate model. In this connection two concerns arise: on the one hand the elicitation task rapidly becomes prohibitive as the number of models increases; on the other hand numerous ..."
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Cited by 1 (1 self)
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Abstract. Bayesian model comparison requires the specification of a prior distribution on the parameter space of each candidate model. In this connection two concerns arise: on the one hand the elicitation task rapidly becomes prohibitive as the number of models increases; on the other hand numerous prior specifications can only exacerbate the wellknown sensitivity to prior assignments, thus producing less dependable conclusions. Within the subjective framework, both difficulties can be counteracted by linking priors across models in order to achieve simplification and compatibility; we discuss links with related objective approaches. Given an encompassing, or full, model together with a prior on its parameter space, we review and summarize a few procedures for deriving priors under a submodel, namely marginalization, conditioning, and Kullback–Leibler projection. These techniques are illustrated and discussed with reference to variable selection in linear models adopting a conventional gprior; comparisons with existing standard approaches are provided. Finally, the relative merits of each procedure are evaluated through simulated and real data sets. Key words and phrases: Bayes factor, compatible prior, conjugate prior, gprior, hypothesis testing, Kullback–Leibler projection, nested model, variable selection.
Journal of the American Statistical Association is currently published by American Statistical Association.
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