mbsts: Multivariate Bayesian Structural Time Series

View source: R/mbsts.R

mbstsR Documentation

Multivariate Bayesian Structural Time Series


Fit a multivariate Bayesian structural time series model, also known as a "dynamic factor model."

** NOTE ** This code is experimental. Please feel free to experiment with it and report any bugs to the maintainer. Expect it to improve substantially in the next release.


      series.state.specification = NULL,
      data = NULL,
      timestamps = NULL,
      series.id = NULL,
      prior = NULL,  # TODO
      opts = NULL,
      contrasts = NULL,
      na.action = na.pass,
      ping = niter / 10,
      data.format = c("long", "wide"),
      seed = NULL,



A formula describing the regression portion of the relationship between y and X.

If no regressors are desired then the formula can be replaced by a numeric matrix giving the multivariate time series to be modeled.


A list with elements created by AddSharedLocalLevel, and similar functions for adding components of state.

This list defines the components of state which are shared across all time series. These are the "factors" in the dynamic factor model.


This argument specifies state components needed by a particular series. Not all series need have the same state components (e.g. some series may require a seasonal component, while others do not). It can be NULL, indicating that there are no series-specific state components.

It can be a list of elements created by AddLocalLevel, AddSeasonal, and similar functions for adding state component to scalar bsts models. In this case the same, independent, individual components will be added to each series. For example, each series will get its own independent Seasonal state component if AddSeasonal was used to add a seasonal component to this argument.

In its most general form, this argument can be a list of lists, some of which can be NULL, but with non-NULL lists specifying state components for individual series, as above.


An optional data frame, list or environment (or object coercible by as.data.frame to a data frame) containing the variables mentioned in the formula argument. If not found in data, the variables are taken from environment(formula), typically the environment from which bsts is called.


A vector of timestamps indicating the time of each observation. If data.format is "long" then this argument is required. If "wide" data is passed then it is optional.

TODO: TEST THIS under wide and long formats in regression and non-regression settings.


A factor (or object coercible to factor) indicating the series to which each observation in "long" format belongs. This argument is ignored for data in "wide" format.


A list of SpikeSlabPrior objects, one for each time series. Or this argument can be NULL in which case a default prior will be used. Note that the prior is on both the regression coefficients and the residual sd for each time series.


A list containing model options. This is currently only used for debugging, so leave this as NULL.


An optional list containing the names of contrast functions to use when converting factors numeric variables in a regression formula. This argument works exactly as it does in lm. The names of the list elements correspond to factor variables in your model formula. The list elements themselves are the names of contrast functions (see help(contr.treatment) and the contrasts.arg argument to model.matrix.default). This argument is only used if a model formula is specified, and even then the default is probably what you want.


What to do about missing values. The default is to allow missing responses, but no missing predictors. Set this to na.omit or na.exclude if you want to omit missing responses altogether.


A positive integer giving the desired number of MCMC draws.


A scalar giving the desired frequency of status messages. If ping > 0 then the program will print a status message to the screen every ping MCMC iterations.


Whether the data are store in wide (each row is a time point, and columns are values from different series) or long (each row is the value of a particular series at a particular point in time) format. For "long" see timestamps and series.id.


An integer to use as the random seed for the underlying C++ code. If NULL then the seed will be set using the clock.


Extra arguments to be passed to SpikeSlabPrior (see the entry for the prior argument, above).


An object of class mbsts which is a list with the following components


A niter by ncol(X) matrix of MCMC draws of the regression coefficients, where X is the design matrix implied by formula. This is only present if a model formula was supplied.


A vector of length niter containing MCMC draws of the residual standard deviation.

The returned object will also contain named elements holding the MCMC draws of model parameters belonging to the state models. The names of each component are supplied by the entries in state.specification. If a model parameter is a scalar, then the list element is a vector with niter elements. If the parameter is a vector then the list element is a matrix with niter rows. If the parameter is a matrix then the list element is a 3-way array with first dimension niter.

Finally, if a model formula was supplied, then the returned object will contain the information necessary for the predict method to build the design matrix when a new prediction is made.


Steven L. Scott steve.the.bayesian@gmail.com


Harvey (1990), "Forecasting, structural time series, and the Kalman filter", Cambridge University Press.

Durbin and Koopman (2001), "Time series analysis by state space methods", Oxford University Press.

George and McCulloch (1997) "Approaches for Bayesian variable selection", Statistica Sinica pp 339–374.

See Also

bsts, AddLocalLevel, AddLocalLinearTrend, AddSemilocalLinearTrend, AddSeasonal AddDynamicRegression SpikeSlabPrior, SdPrior.


## Not run: 

# This example takes 12s on Windows, which is longer than CRAN's 10s
# limit.  Marking code as 'dontrun' to prevent CRAN auto checks from
# timing out.

seed <- 8675309

ntimes <- 250
nseries <- 20
nfactors <- 6
residual.sd <- 1.2
state.innovation.sd <- .75

## simulate latent state for fake data.
state <- matrix(rnorm(ntimes * nfactors, 0, state.innovation.sd), nrow = ntimes)
for (i in 1:ncol(state)) {
  state[, i] <- cumsum(state[, i])

## Simulate "observed" data from state.
observation.coefficients <- matrix(rnorm(nseries * nfactors), nrow = nseries)
diag(observation.coefficients) <- 1.0
observation.coefficients[upper.tri(observation.coefficients)] <- 0

errors <- matrix(rnorm(nseries * ntimes, 0, residual.sd), ncol = ntimes)
y <- t(observation.coefficients %*% t(state) + errors)

## Plot the data.
plot.ts(y, plot.type="single", col = rainbow(nseries), main = "observed data")
plot.ts(state, plot.type = "single", col = 1:nfactors, main = "latent state")

## Fit the model
ss <- AddSharedLocalLevel(list(), y, nfactors = nfactors)

opts <- list("fixed.state" = t(state),
  fixed.residual.sd = rep(residual.sd, nseries),
  fixed.regression.coefficients = matrix(rep(0, nseries), ncol = 1))

model <- mbsts(y, shared.state.specification = ss, niter = 100,
  data.format = "wide", seed = seed)

## Plot the state
par(mfrow=c(1, nfactors))
ylim <- range(model$shared.state, state)
for (j in 1:nfactors) {
  PlotDynamicDistribution(model$shared.state[, j, ], ylim=ylim)
  lines(state[, j], col = "blue")

## Plot the factor loadings.
opar <- par(mfrow=c(nfactors,1), mar=c(0, 4, 0, 4), omi=rep(.25, 4))
burn <- 10
for(j in 1:nfactors) {
  BoxplotTrue(model$shared.local.level.coefficients[-(1:burn), j, ],
    t(observation.coefficients[, j]), axes=F, truth.color="blue")
  abline(h=0, lty=3)

## Plot the predicted values of the series.
index <- 1:12
nr <- floor(sqrt(length(index)))
nc <- ceiling(length(index) / nr)
opar <- par(mfrow = c(nr, nc), mar = c(2, 4, 1, 2))
for (i in index) {
    model$shared.state.contributions[, 1, i, ]
    + model$regression.coefficients[, i, 1]
  , ylim=range(y))
  points(y[, i], col="blue", pch = ".", cex = .2)
# next line closes 'dontrun'

## End(Not run)
# next line closes 'examples'

bsts documentation built on Nov. 10, 2022, 5:53 p.m.

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