Bayes Factor

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Description

This function calculates Bayes factors for two or more fitted objects of class demonoid, iterquad, laplace, pmc, or vb that were estimated respectively with the LaplacesDemon, IterativeQuadrature, LaplaceApproximation, PMC, or VariationalBayes functions, and indicates the strength of evidence in favor of the hypothesis (that each model, M[i], is better than another model, M[j]).

Usage

1

Arguments

x

This is a list of two or more fitted objects of class demonoid, iterquad, laplace, pmc, or vb. The components are named in order beginning with model 1, M1, and k models are usually represented as M[1],...,M[k].

Details

Introduced by Harold Jeffreys, a 'Bayes factor' is a Bayesian alternative to frequentist hypothesis testing that is most often used for the comparison of multiple models by hypothesis testing, usually to determine which model better fits the data (Jeffreys, 1961). Bayes factors are notoriously difficult to compute, and the Bayes factor is only defined when the marginal density of y under each model is proper (see is.proper). However, the Bayes factor is easy to approximate with the Laplace-Metropolis estimator (Lewis and Raftery, 1997) and other methods of approximating the logarithm of the marginal likelihood (for more information, see LML).

Hypothesis testing with Bayes factors is more robust than frequentist hypothesis testing, since the Bayesian form avoids model selection bias, evaluates evidence in favor of the null hypothesis, includes model uncertainty, and allows non-nested models to be compared (though of course the model must have the same dependent variable). Also, frequentist significance tests become biased in favor of rejecting the null hypothesis with sufficiently large sample size.

The Bayes factor for comparing two models may be approximated as the ratio of the marginal likelihood of the data in model 1 and model 2. Formally, the Bayes factor in this case is

B = (p(y|M_1)) / p(y|M_2) = (integral of p(y|Theta_1,M_1)p(Theta_1|M_1)dTheta_1) / (integral of p(y|Theta_2,M_2)p(Theta_2|M_2)dTheta_2)

where p(y|M_1) is the marginal likelihood of the data in model 1.

The IterativeQuadrature, LaplaceApproximation, LaplacesDemon, PMC, and VariationalBayes functions each return the LML, the approximate logarithm of the marginal likelihood of the data, in each fitted object of class iterquad, laplace, demonoid, pmc, or vb. The BayesFactor function calculates matrix B, a matrix of Bayes factors, where each element of matrix B is a comparison of two models. Each Bayes factor is calculated as the exponentiated difference of LML of model 1 (M[1]) and LML of model 2 (M[2]), and the hypothesis for each element of matrix B is that the model associated with the row is greater than the model associated with the column. For example, element B[3,2] is the Bayes factor that model 3 is greater than model 2. The 'Strength of Evidence' aids in the interpretation (Jeffreys, 1961).

A table for the interpretation of the strength of evidence for Bayes factors is available at https://web.archive.org/web/20150214194051/http://www.bayesian-inference.com/bayesfactors.

Each Bayes factor, B, is the posterior odds in favor of the hypothesis divided by the prior odds in favor of the hypothesis, where the hypothesis is usually M[1] > M[2]. For example, when B[3,2]=2, the data favor M[3] over M[2] with 2:1 odds.

It is also popular to consider the natural logarithm of the Bayes factor. The scale of the logged Bayes factor is the same above and below one, which is more appropriate for visual comparisons. For example, when comparing two Bayes factors at 0.5 and 2, the logarithm of these Bayes factors is -0.69 and 0.69.

Gelman finds Bayes factors generally to be irrelevant, because they compute the relative probabilities of the models conditional on one of them being true. Gelman prefers approaches that measure the distance of the data to each of the approximate models (Gelman et al., 2004, p. 180), such as with posterior predictive checks (see the predict.iterquad function regarding iterative quadrature, predict.laplace function in the context of Laplace Approximation, predict.demonoid function in the context of MCMC, predict.pmc function in the context of PMC, or predict.vb function in the context of Variational Bayes). Kass et al. (1995) asserts this can be done without assuming one model is the true model.

Value

BayesFactor returns an object of class bayesfactor that is a list with the following components:

B

This is a matrix of Bayes factors.

Hypothesis

This is the hypothesis, and is stated as 'row > column', indicating that the model associated with the row of an element in matrix B is greater than the model associated with the column of that element.

Strength.of.Evidence

This is the strength of evidence in favor of the hypothesis.

Posterior.Probability

This is a vector of the posterior probability of each model, given flat priors.

Author(s)

Statisticat, LLC.

References

Gelman, A., Carlin, J., Stern, H., and Rubin, D. (2004). "Bayesian Data Analysis, Texts in Statistical Science, 2nd ed.". Chapman and Hall, London.

Jeffreys, H. (1961). "Theory of Probability, Third Edition". Oxford University Press: Oxford, England.

Kass, R.E. and Raftery, A.E. (1995). "Bayes Factors". Journal of the American Statistical Association, 90(430), p. 773–795.

Lewis, S.M. and Raftery, A.E. (1997). "Estimating Bayes Factors via Posterior Simulation with the Laplace-Metropolis Estimator". Journal of the American Statistical Association, 92, p. 648–655.

See Also

is.bayesfactor, is.proper, IterativeQuadrature, LaplaceApproximation, LaplacesDemon, LML, PMC, predict.demonoid, predict.iterquad, predict.laplace, predict.pmc, predict.vb, and VariationalBayes.

Examples

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# The following example fits a model as Fit1, then adds a predictor, and
# fits another model, Fit2. The two models are compared with Bayes
# factors.

library(LaplacesDemon)

##############################  Demon Data  ###############################
data(demonsnacks)
J <- 2
y <- log(demonsnacks$Calories)
X <- cbind(1, as.matrix(log(demonsnacks[,10]+1)))
X[,2] <- CenterScale(X[,2])

#########################  Data List Preparation  #########################
mon.names <- "LP"
parm.names <- as.parm.names(list(beta=rep(0,J), sigma=0))
pos.beta <- grep("beta", parm.names)
pos.sigma <- grep("sigma", parm.names)
PGF <- function(Data) {
     beta <- rnorm(Data$J)
     sigma <- runif(1)
     return(c(beta, sigma))
     }
MyData <- list(J=J, PGF=PGF, X=X, mon.names=mon.names,
     parm.names=parm.names, pos.beta=pos.beta, pos.sigma=pos.sigma, y=y)

##########################  Model Specification  ##########################
Model <- function(parm, Data)
     {
     ### Parameters
     beta <- parm[Data$pos.beta]
     sigma <- interval(parm[Data$pos.sigma], 1e-100, Inf)
     parm[Data$pos.sigma] <- sigma
     ### Log-Prior
     beta.prior <- sum(dnormv(beta, 0, 1000, log=TRUE))
     sigma.prior <- dhalfcauchy(sigma, 25, log=TRUE)
     ### Log-Likelihood
     mu <- tcrossprod(Data$X, t(beta))
     LL <- sum(dnorm(Data$y, mu, sigma, log=TRUE))
     ### Log-Posterior
     LP <- LL + beta.prior + sigma.prior
     Modelout <- list(LP=LP, Dev=-2*LL, Monitor=LP,
          yhat=rnorm(length(mu), mu, sigma), parm=parm)
     return(Modelout)
     }

############################  Initial Values  #############################
Initial.Values <- GIV(Model, MyData, PGF=TRUE)

########################  Laplace Approximation  ##########################
Fit1 <- LaplaceApproximation(Model, Initial.Values, Data=MyData,
     Iterations=10000)
Fit1

##############################  Demon Data  ###############################
data(demonsnacks)
J <- 3
y <- log(demonsnacks$Calories)
X <- cbind(1, as.matrix(demonsnacks[,c(7,8)]))
X[,2] <- CenterScale(X[,2])
X[,3] <- CenterScale(X[,3])

#########################  Data List Preparation  #########################
mon.names <- c("sigma","mu[1]")
parm.names <- as.parm.names(list(beta=rep(0,J), sigma=0))
pos.beta <- grep("beta", parm.names)
pos.sigma <- grep("sigma", parm.names)
PGF <- function(Data) return(c(rnormv(Data$J,0,10), rhalfcauchy(1,5)))
MyData <- list(J=J, PGF=PGF, X=X, mon.names=mon.names,
     parm.names=parm.names, pos.beta=pos.beta, pos.sigma=pos.sigma, y=y)

############################  Initial Values  #############################
Initial.Values <- GIV(Model, MyData, PGF=TRUE)

########################  Laplace Approximation  ##########################
Fit2 <- LaplaceApproximation(Model, Initial.Values, Data=MyData,
     Iterations=10000)
Fit2

#############################  Bayes Factor  ##############################
Model.list <- list(M1=Fit1, M2=Fit2)
BayesFactor(Model.list)

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