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79
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 973 (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.
Model selection and accounting for model uncertainty in graphical models using Occam's window
, 1993
"... We consider the problem of model selection and accounting for model uncertainty in highdimensional contingency tables, motivated by expert system applications. The approach most used currently is a stepwise strategy guided by tests based on approximate asymptotic Pvalues leading to the selection o ..."
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Cited by 264 (46 self)
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We consider the problem of model selection and accounting for model uncertainty in highdimensional contingency tables, motivated by expert system applications. The approach most used currently is a stepwise strategy guided by tests based on approximate asymptotic Pvalues leading to the selection of a single model; inference is then conditional on the selected model. The sampling properties of such a strategy are complex, and the failure to take account of model uncertainty leads to underestimation of uncertainty about quantities of interest. In principle, a panacea is provided by the standard Bayesian formalism which averages the posterior distributions of the quantity of interest under each of the models, weighted by their posterior model probabilities. Furthermore, this approach is optimal in the sense of maximising predictive ability. However, this has not been used in practice because computing the posterior model probabilities is hard and the number of models is very large (often greater than 1011). We argue that the standard Bayesian formalism is unsatisfactory and we propose an alternative Bayesian approach that, we contend, takes full account of the true model uncertainty byaveraging overamuch smaller set of models. An efficient search algorithm is developed for nding these models. We consider two classes of graphical models that arise in expert systems: the recursive causal models and the decomposable
Bayesian Model Selection in Social Research (with Discussion by Andrew Gelman & Donald B. Rubin, and Robert M. Hauser, and a Rejoinder)
 SOCIOLOGICAL METHODOLOGY 1995, EDITED BY PETER V. MARSDEN, CAMBRIDGE,; MASS.: BLACKWELLS.
, 1995
"... It is argued that Pvalues and the tests based upon them give unsatisfactory results, especially in large samples. It is shown that, in regression, when there are many candidate independent variables, standard variable selection procedures can give very misleading results. Also, by selecting a singl ..."
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Cited by 251 (19 self)
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It is argued that Pvalues and the tests based upon them give unsatisfactory results, especially in large samples. It is shown that, in regression, when there are many candidate independent variables, standard variable selection procedures can give very misleading results. Also, by selecting a single model, they ignore model uncertainty and so underestimate the uncertainty about quantities of interest. The Bayesian approach to hypothesis testing, model selection and accounting for model uncertainty is presented. Implementing this is straightforward using the simple and accurate BIC approximation, and can be done using the output from standard software. Specific results are presented for most of the types of model commonly used in sociology. It is shown that this approach overcomes the difficulties with P values and standard model selection procedures based on them. It also allows easy comparison of nonnested models, and permits the quantification of the evidence for a null hypothesis...
Bayesian Model Averaging for Linear Regression Models
 Journal of the American Statistical Association
, 1997
"... We consider the problem of accounting for model uncertainty in linear regression models. Conditioning on a single selected model ignores model uncertainty, and thus leads to the underestimation of uncertainty when making inferences about quantities of interest. A Bayesian solution to this problem in ..."
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Cited by 185 (13 self)
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We consider the problem of accounting for model uncertainty in linear regression models. Conditioning on a single selected model ignores model uncertainty, and thus leads to the underestimation of uncertainty when making inferences about quantities of interest. A Bayesian solution to this problem involves averaging over all possible models (i.e., combinations of predictors) when making inferences about quantities of
Efficient approximations for the marginal likelihood of Bayesian networks with hidden variables
 Machine Learning
, 1997
"... We discuss Bayesian methods for learning Bayesian networks when data sets are incomplete. In particular, we examine asymptotic approximations for the marginal likelihood of incomplete data given a Bayesian network. We consider the Laplace approximation and the less accurate but more efficient BIC/MD ..."
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Cited by 175 (10 self)
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We discuss Bayesian methods for learning Bayesian networks when data sets are incomplete. In particular, we examine asymptotic approximations for the marginal likelihood of incomplete data given a Bayesian network. We consider the Laplace approximation and the less accurate but more efficient BIC/MDL approximation. We also consider approximations proposed by Draper (1993) and Cheeseman and Stutz (1995). These approximations are as efficient as BIC/MDL, but their accuracy has not been studied in any depth. We compare the accuracy of these approximations under the assumption that the Laplace approximation is the most accurate. In experiments using synthetic data generated from discrete naiveBayes models having a hidden root node, we find that (1) the BIC/MDL measure is the least accurate, having a bias in favor of simple models, and (2) the Draper and CS measures are the most accurate. 1
A Reference Bayesian Test for Nested Hypotheses And its Relationship to the Schwarz Criterion
 Journal of the American Statistical Association
, 1994
"... To compute a Bayes factor for testing H 0 : / = / 0 in the presence of a nuisance parameter fi, priors under the null and alternative hypotheses must be chosen. As in Bayesian estimation, an important problem has been to define automatic or "reference" methods for determining priors based only on t ..."
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Cited by 125 (4 self)
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To compute a Bayes factor for testing H 0 : / = / 0 in the presence of a nuisance parameter fi, priors under the null and alternative hypotheses must be chosen. As in Bayesian estimation, an important problem has been to define automatic or "reference" methods for determining priors based only on the structure of the model. In this paper we apply the heuristic device of taking the amount of information in the prior on / equal to the amount of information in a single observation. Then, after transforming fi to be "null orthogonal" to /, we take the marginal priors on fi to be equal under the null and alternative hypotheses. Doing so, and taking the prior on / to be Normal, we find that the log of the Bayes factor may be approximated by the Schwarz criterion with an error of order O(n \Gamma1=2 ), rather than the usual error of order O(1). This result suggests the Schwarz criterion should provide sensible approximate solutions to Bayesian testing problems, at least when the hypothese...
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 94 (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 ..."
Abstract

Cited by 89 (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
The practical implementation of Bayesian model selection
 Institute of Mathematical Statistics
, 2001
"... In principle, the Bayesian approach to model selection is straightforward. Prior probability distributions are used to describe the uncertainty surrounding all unknowns. After observing the data, the posterior distribution provides a coherent post data summary of the remaining uncertainty which is r ..."
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Cited by 84 (3 self)
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In principle, the Bayesian approach to model selection is straightforward. Prior probability distributions are used to describe the uncertainty surrounding all unknowns. After observing the data, the posterior distribution provides a coherent post data summary of the remaining uncertainty which is relevant for model selection. However, the practical implementation of this approach often requires carefully tailored priors and novel posterior calculation methods. In this article, we illustrate some of the fundamental practical issues that arise for two different model selection problems: the variable selection problem for the linear model and the CART model selection problem.
Markov Chain Monte Carlo Model Determination for Hierarchical and Graphical Loglinear Models
 Biometrika
, 1996
"... this paper, we will only consider undirected graphical models. For details of Bayesian model selection for directed graphical models see Madigan et al (1995). An (undirected) graphical model is determined by a set of conditional independence constraints of the form `fl 1 is independent of fl 2 condi ..."
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Cited by 54 (8 self)
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this paper, we will only consider undirected graphical models. For details of Bayesian model selection for directed graphical models see Madigan et al (1995). An (undirected) graphical model is determined by a set of conditional independence constraints of the form `fl 1 is independent of fl 2 conditional on all other fl i 2 C'. Graphical models are so called because they can each be represented as a graph with vertex set C and an edge between each pair fl 1 and fl 2 unless fl 1 and fl 2 are conditionally independent as described above. Darroch, Lauritzen and Speed (1980) show that each graphical loglinear model is hierarchical, with generators given by the cliques (complete subgraphs) of the graph. The total number of possible graphical models is clearly given by 2 (