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And showing how the model for the coin compressed the results tossing

Summary of the chapter

choice of models had to be. (Take a model, any model...). These three procedures, which we have discussed at some length, give rise to the Maximum Likelihood model, the Bayesian optimal model and the Minimum Description length model. Sometimes these are all different, sometimes not. Arguments to persuade you that one is better than another are crude, heuristic and possibly unconvincing. Tough luck, that's the way the subject is.

used in choosing the `best' model. Where the prior pdf comes from is a matter seldom discussed, but presumably it comes from some other source of data about the system under investigation: if we are into coin tossing then presumably it derives from having tossed other, different but similar, coins in the past.

Finally, if we have feelings in our bones about information theory as the right place to found statistical reasoning, and if we also feel in our bones a preference for simple models rather than complicated ones, we may be able to fall back on Rissanen style arguments if we are lucky, but many statisticians don't accept Rissanen's ideas. Rissanen gives us a chance to reject models which give a high likelihood but seem to be too complex, and to prefer simpler models with a lower degree of likelihood for the data. I discussed philosophical issues, I drew morals and extracted, some would say extorted, principles. I then went on to pdfs, starting with a coin model, and showing how the ML model for the coin compressed the results of tossing it. Then I compressed a set of points in the unit interval, using a pdf over [0,1]. Various useful and intuitive results were proved in a manner that no modern analyst would tolerate but that was good enough for Gauss.

Summary of the chapter


http://ciips.ee.uwa.edu.au/~mike/PatRec/node86.html (3 of 3) [12/12/2000 4:15:38 AM]

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and showing how the model for the coin compressed
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