# Section 1: Simple Linear Regression

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1 Section 1: Simple Linear Regression Carlos M. Carvalho The University of Texas McCombs School of Business 1

2 Regression: General Introduction Regression analysis is the most widely used statistical tool for understanding relationships among variables It provides a conceptually simple method for investigating functional relationships between one or more factors and an outcome of interest The relationship is expressed in the form of an equation or a model connecting the response or dependent variable and one or more explanatory or predictor variable 2

3 Why? Straight prediction questions: For who much will my house sell? How many runs per game will the Red Sox score in 2011? Will this person like that movie? (Netflix prize) Explanation and understanding: What is the impact of MBA on income? How does the returns of a mutual fund relates to the market? Does Wallmart discriminates against women regarding salaries? 3

4 1st Example: Predicting House Prices Problem: Predict market price based on observed characteristics Solution: Look at property sales data where we know the price and some observed characteristics. Build a decision rule that predicts price as a function of the observed characteristics. 4

5 Predicting House Prices What characteristics do we use? We have to define the variables of interest and develop a specific quantitative measure of these variables Many factors or variables affect the price of a house size number of baths garage, air conditioning, etc neighborhood 5

6 Predicting House Prices To keep things super simple, let s focus only on size. The value that we seek to predict is called the dependent (or output) variable, and we denote this: Y = price of house (e.g. thousands of dollars) The variable that we use to guide prediction is the explanatory (or input) variable, and this is labelled X = size of house (e.g. thousands of square feet) 6

7 Predicting House Prices What does this data look like? 7

8 Predicting House Prices It is much more useful to look at a scatterplot price In other words, view the data as points in the X Y plane. size 8

9 Regression Model Y = response or outcome variable X 1, X 2, X 3,..., Xp = explanatory or input variables The general relationship approximated by: Y = f (X 1, X 2,..., X p ) + e And a linear relationship is written Y = b 0 + b 1 X 1 + b 2 X b p X p + e 9

10 Linear Prediction Appears to be a linear relationship between price and size: As size goes up, price goes up. The line shown was fit by the eyeball method. 10

11 Linear Prediction Recall that the equation of a line is: Y = b 0 + b 1 X Where b 0 is the intercept and b 1 is the slope. The intercept value is in units of Y (\$1,000). The slope is in units of Y per units of X (\$1,000/1,000 sq ft). 11

12 Linear Prediction Y b 1 Y = b 0 + b 1 X b X Our eyeball line has b 0 = 35, b 1 =

13 Linear Prediction We can now predict the price of a house when we know only the size; just read the value off the line that we ve drawn. For example, given a house with of size X = 2.2. Predicted price Ŷ = (2.2) = 123. Note: Conversion from 1,000 sq ft to \$1,000 is done for us by the slope coefficient (b 1 ) 13

14 Linear Prediction Can we do better than the eyeball method? We desire a strategy for estimating the slope and intercept parameters in the model Ŷ = b 0 + b 1 X A reasonable way to fit a line is to minimize the amount by which the fitted value differs from the actual value. This amount is called the residual. 14

15 Linear Prediction What is the fitted value? Y i Ŷ i X i The dots are the observed values and the line represents our fitted values given by Ŷ i = b 0 + b 1 X 1. 15

16 Linear Prediction What is the residual for the ith observation? Y i Ŷ i e i = Y i Ŷ i = Residual i X i We can write Y i = Ŷi + (Y i Ŷi) = Ŷ i + e i. 16

17 Least Squares Ideally we want to minimize the size of all residuals: If they were all zero we would have a perfect line. Trade-off between moving closer to some points and at the same time moving away from other points. The line fitting process: Give weights to all of the residuals. Minimize the total of residuals to get best fit. Least Squares chooses b 0 and b 1 to minimize N i=1 e2 i N ei 2 = e1+e en 2 = (Y 1 Ŷ1) 2 +(Y 2 Ŷ2) 2 + +(Y N ŶN) 2 i=1 17

18 Least Squares LS chooses a different line from ours: b 0 = and b 1 = What do b 0 and b 1 mean again? Our line LS line 18

19 Eyeball vs. LS Residuals eyeball: b 0 = 35, b 1 = 40 LS: b 0 = 38.88, b 1 = Size Price yhat-eyeball yhat-ls e-eyeball e-ls e2-eyeball e2-ls sum b0-eyeball b1-eyeball b0-ls b1-ls

20 Least Squares Excel Output SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 15 ANOVA df SS MS F Significance F Regression E-06 Residual Total Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P-value Lower 95% Intercept Size E Upper 95%

21 2nd Example: Offensive Performance in Baseball 1. Problems: 2. Solutions: Evaluate/compare traditional measures of offensive performance Help evaluate the worth of a player Compare prediction rules that forecast runs as a function of either AVG (batting average), SLG (slugging percentage) or OBP (on base percentage) 21

22 2nd Example: Offensive Performance in Baseball 22

23 Baseball Data Using AVG Each observation corresponds to a team in MLB. Each quantity is the average over a season. Y = runs per game; X = AVG (average) LS fit: Runs/Game = AVG 23

24 Baseball Data Using SLG Y = runs per game X = SLG (slugging percentage) LS fit: Runs/Game = SLG 24

25 Baseball Data Using OBP Y = runs per game X = OBP (on base percentage) LS fit: Runs/Game = OBP 25

26 Baseball Data What is the best prediction rule? Let s compare the predictive ability of each model using the average squared error 1 N N ei 2 = i=1 N i=1 ( Runs i Runs i ) 2 N 26

27 Place your Money on OBP Average Squared Error AVG SLG OBP

28 Linear Prediction Ŷ i = b 0 + b 1 X i b 0 is the intercept and b 1 is the slope We find b 0 and b 1 using Least Squares 28

29 The Least Squares Criterion The formulas for b 0 and b 1 that minimize the least squares criterion are: b 1 = r xy s y s x b 0 = Ȳ b 1 X where, X and Ȳ are the sample mean of X and Y corr(x, y) = r xy is the sample correlation s x and s y are the sample standard deviation of X and Y 29

30 Sample Mean and Sample Variance Sample Mean: measure of centrality Ȳ = 1 n n i=1 Y i Sample Variance: measure of spread s 2 y = 1 n 1 Sample Standard Deviation: s y = n ( Yi Ȳ ) 2 i=1 s 2 y 30

31 Example s 2 y = 1 n 1 n ( Yi Ȳ ) 2 i=1 X (X i X) X sample Y (Y i Ȳ ) Ȳ sample s x = 9.7 s y =

32 Covariance Measure the direction and strength of the linear relationship between Y and X n i=1 Cov(Y, X ) = (Y i Ȳ )(X i X ) n 1 (Yi Ȳ )(Xi X) < 0 (Yi Ȳ )(Xi X) > 0 Y Ȳ (Yi Ȳ )(Xi X) > X X (Yi Ȳ )(Xi X) < 0 s y = 15.98, s x = 9.7 Cov(X, Y ) = How do we interpret that? 32

33 Correlation Correlation is the standardized covariance: corr(x, Y ) = cov(x, Y ) sx 2 sy 2 = cov(x, Y ) s x s y The correlation is scale invariant and the units of measurement don t matter: It is always true that 1 corr(x, Y ) 1. This gives the direction (- or +) and strength (0 1) of the linear relationship between X and Y. 33

34 Correlation corr(y, X ) = cov(x, Y ) s 2 x s 2 y = cov(x, Y ) s x s y = = X Y (Yi Ȳ )(Xi X) > 0 (Yi Ȳ )(Xi X) < 0 (Yi Ȳ )(Xi X) > 0 (Yi Ȳ )(Xi X) < 0 X Ȳ 34

35 Correlation corr = corr = corr = corr =

36 Correlation Only measures linear relationships: corr(x, Y ) = 0 does not mean the variables are not related corr = 0.01 corr = Also be careful with influential observations. Excel Break: correl, stdev,... 36

37 Back to Least Squares 1. Intercept: b 0 = Ȳ b 1 X Ȳ = b 0 + b 1 X The point ( X, Ȳ ) is on the regression line Least squares finds the point of means and rotate the line through that point until getting the right slope 2. Slope: b 1 = corr(x, Y ) s Y s X = n i=1 (X i X )(Y i Ȳ ) n i=1 (X i X ) 2 = Cov(X, Y ) var(x ) So, the right slope is the correlation coefficient times a scaling factor that ensures the proper units for b 1 37

38 More on Least Squares From now on, terms fitted values (Ŷ i ) and residuals (e i ) refer to those obtained from the least squares line. The fitted values and residuals have some special properties. Lets look at the housing data analysis to figure out what these properties are... 38

39 The Fitted Values and X Fitted Values corr(y.hat, x) = X 39

40 The Residuals and X Residuals corr(e, x) = 0 mean(e) = X 40

41 Why? What is the intuition for the relationship between Ŷ and e and X? Lets consider some crazy alternative line: Y Crazy line: X LS line: X X 41

42 Fitted Values and Residuals This is a bad fit We are underestimating the value of small houses and overestimating the value of big houses. Crazy Residuals corr(e, x) = -0.7 mean(e) = Clearly, we have left some predictive ability on the table X 42

43 Summary: LS is the best we can do As long as the correlation between e and X is non-zero, we could always adjust our prediction rule to do better. We need to exploit all of the predictive power in the X values and put this into Ŷ, leaving no Xness in the residuals. In Summary: Y = Ŷ + e where: Ŷ is made from X ; corr(x, Ŷ ) = 1. e is unrelated to X ; corr(x, e) = 0. 43

44 Decomposing the Variance How well does the least squares line explain variation in Y? Remember that Y = Ŷ + e Since Ŷ and e are uncorrelated, i.e. corr(ŷ, e) = 0, var(y ) = var(ŷ + e) = var(ŷ ) + var(e) n i=1 (Y i Ȳ ) 2 n i=1 = (Ŷ i Ŷ ) 2 n i=1 + (e i ē) 2 n 1 n 1 n 1 Given that ē = 0, and Ŷ = Ȳ (why?) we get to: n (Y i Ȳ ) 2 = i=1 n (Ŷ i Ȳ ) 2 + n i=1 i=1 e 2 i 44

45 Decomposing the Variance SSR: Variation in Y explained by the regression line. SSE: Variation in Y that is left unexplained. SSR = SST perfect fit. Be careful of similar acronyms; e.g. SSR for residual SS. 45

46 A Goodness of Fit Measure: R 2 The coefficient of determination, denoted by R 2, measures goodness of fit: R 2 = SSR SST = 1 SSE SST 0 < R 2 < 1. The closer R 2 is to 1, the better the fit. 46

47 Back to the House Data Back to the House Data ''- ''/ ''. Applied Regression Analysis Carlos M. Carvalho R 2 = SSR SST = 0.82 = ""#\$%%&\$'()*"\$+, 47

48 Back to Baseball Three very similar, related ways to look at a simple linear regression... with only one X variable, life is easy R 2 corr SSE OBP SLG AVG

49 Prediction and the Modeling Goal A prediction rule is any function where you input X and it outputs Ŷ as a predicted response at X. The least squares line is a prediction rule: Ŷ = f (X ) = b 0 + b 1 X 49

50 Prediction and the Modeling Goal Ŷ is not going to be a perfect prediction. We need to devise a notion of forecast accuracy. 50

51 Prediction and the Modeling Goal There are two things that we want to know: What value of Y can we expect for a given X? How sure are we about this forecast? Or how different could Y be from what we expect? Our goal is to measure the accuracy of our forecasts or how much uncertainty there is in the forecast. One method is to specify a range of Y values that are likely, given an X value. Prediction Interval: probable range for Y-values given X 51

52 Prediction and the Modeling Goal Key Insight: To construct a prediction interval, we will have to assess the likely range of error values corresponding to a Y value that has not yet been observed We will build a probability model (e.g., normal distribution). Then we can say something like with 95% probability the error will be no less than -\$28,000 or larger than \$28,000. We must also acknowledge that the fitted line may be fooled by particular realizations of the residuals. 52

53 Prediction and the Modeling Goal Suppose you only had the purple points in the graph. The dashed line fits the purple points. The solid line fits all the points. Which line is better? Why? RPG AVG In summary, we need to work with the notion of a true line and a probability distribution that describes deviation around the line. 53

54 The Simple Linear Regression Model The power of statistical inference comes from the ability to make precise statements about the accuracy of the forecasts. In order to do this we must invest in a probability model. Simple Linear Regression Model: Y = β 0 + β 1 X + ε ε N(0, σ 2 ) β 0 + β 1 X represents the true line ; The part of Y that depends on X. The error term ε is independent idosyncratic noise ; The part of Y not associated with X. 54

55 The Simple Linear Regression Model Y = β 0 + β 1 X + ε y The conditional distribution for Y given X is Normal: x Y X = x N(β 0 + β 1 x, σ 2 ). 55

56 The Simple Linear Regression Model Example You are told (without looking at the data) that β 0 = 40; β 1 = 45; σ = 10 and you are asked to predict price of a 1500 square foot house. What do you know about Y from the model? Y = (1.5) + ε = ε Thus our prediction for price is Y X = 1.5 N(107.5, 10 2 ) and a 95% Prediction Interval for Y is 87.5 < Y <

57 Summary of Simple Linear Regression Assume that all observations are drawn from our regression model and that errors on those observations are independent. The model is Y i = β 0 + β 1 X i + ε i where ε is independent and identically distributed N(0, σ 2 ). independence means that knowing ε i doesn t affect your views about ε j identically distributed means that we are using the same normal for every ε i 57

58 Summary of Simple Linear Regression The model is ε i N(0, σ 2 ). Y i = β 0 + β 1 X i + ε i The SLR has 3 basic parameters: β 0, β 1 (linear pattern) σ (variation around the line). Assumptions: independence means that knowing ε i doesn t affect your views about ε j identically distributed means that we are using the same normal for every ε i 58

59 Estimation for the SLR Model SLR assumes every observation in the dataset was generated by the model: Y i = β 0 + β 1 X i + ε i This is a model for the conditional distribution of Y given X. We use Least Squares to estimate β 0 and β 1 : ˆβ 1 = b 1 = r xy s y s x ˆβ 0 = b 0 = Ȳ b 1 X 59

60 Estimation of Error Variance We estimate σ 2 with: s 2 = 1 n 2 n i=1 e 2 i = SSE n 2 (2 is the number of regression coefficients; i.e. 2 for β 0 and β 1 ). We have n 2 degrees of freedom because 2 have been used up in the estimation of b 0 and b 1. We usually use s = SSE/(n 2), in the same units as Y. It s also called the regression standard error. 60

61 Estimation of Error Variance Estimation of 2,"-"\$).\$s )/\$0,"\$123"(\$ Where is s in the Excel output?. Remember that whenever you see standard error read it as ).\$0,"\$.0?/*?-*\$*"<)?0)4/ estimated standard deviation: σ is the standard deviation. Applied Regression Analysis Carlos M. Carvalho ""#\$%%%&\$'()*"\$+ 61

62 One Picture Summary of SLR The plot below has the house data, the fitted regression line (b 0 + b 1 X ) and ±2 s... From this picture, what can you tell me about β 0, β 1 and σ 2? How about b 0, b 1 and s 2? price size 62

63 Sampling Distribution of Least Squares Estimates How much do our estimates depend on the particular random sample that we happen to observe? Imagine: Randomly draw different samples of the same size. For each sample, compute the estimates b 0, b 1, and s. If the estimates don t vary much from sample to sample, then it doesn t matter which sample you happen to observe. If the estimates do vary a lot, then it matters which sample you happen to observe. 63

64 The Importance of Understanding Variation When estimating a quantity, it is vital to develop a notion of the precision of the estimation; for example: estimate the slope of the regression line estimate the value of a house given its size estimate the expected return on a portfolio estimate the value of a brand name estimate the damages from patent infringement Why is this important? We are making decisions based on estimates, and these may be very sensitive to the accuracy of the estimates 64

65 Sampling Distribution of Least Squares Estimates 65

66 Sampling Distribution of Least Squares Estimates 66

67 Sampling Distribution of b 1 The sampling distribution of b 1 describes how estimator b 1 = ˆβ 1 varies over different samples with the X values fixed. It turns out that b 1 is normally distributed (approximately): b 1 N(β 1, sb 2 1 ). b 1 is unbiased: E[b 1 ] = β 1. s b1 is the standard error of b 1. In general, the standard error is the standard deviation of an estimate. It determines how close b 1 is to β 1. This is a number directly available from the regression output. 67

68 Sampling Distribution of b 1 Can we intuit what should be in the formula for s b1? How should s figure in the formula? What about n? Anything else? s 2 b 1 = s 2 (Xi X ) 2 = s 2 (n 1)s 2 x Three Factors: sample size (n), error variance (s 2 ), and X -spread (s x ). 68

69 Sampling Distribution of b 0 The intercept is also normal and unbiased: b 0 N(β 0, s 2 b 0 ). s 2 b 0 = var(b 0 ) = s 2 ( 1 n + X 2 (n 1)s 2 x ) What is the intuition here? 69

70 Example: Runs per Game and AVG blue line: all points red line: only purple points Which slope is closer to the true one? How much closer? RPG AVG 70

71 Example: Runs per Game and AVG Regression with all points SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 30 ANOVA df SS MS F Significance F Regression E- 07 Residual Total Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P- value Lower 95% Upper 95% Intercept AVG E s b1 =

72 Example: Runs per Game and AVG Regression with subsample SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 5 ANOVA df SS MS F Significance F Regression Residual Total Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P- value Lower 95% Upper 95% Intercept AVG s b1 =

73 Example: Runs per Game and AVG b 1 N(β 1, sb 2 1 ) Suppose β 1 = 35 blue line: N(35, ); red line: N(35, ) (b 1 β 1 ) ±2 s b b1 73

74 Confidence Intervals Since b 1 N(β 1, s 2 b 1 ), Thus: 68% Confidence Interval: b 1 ± 1 s b1 95% Confidence Interval: b 1 ± 2 s b1 99% Confidence Interval: b 1 ± 3 s b1 Same thing for b 0 95% Confidence Interval: b 0 ± 2 s b0 The confidence interval provides you with a set of plausible values for the parameters 74

75 Example: Runs per Game and AVG Regression with all points SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 30 ANOVA df SS MS F Significance F Regression E- 07 Residual Total Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P- value Lower 95% Upper 95% Intercept AVG E [b 1 2 s b1 ; b s b1 ] [23.77; 43.36] 75

76 Testing Suppose we want to assess whether or not β 1 equals a proposed value β1 0. This is called hypothesis testing. Formally we test the null hypothesis: H 0 : β 1 = β1 0 vs. the alternative H 1 : β 1 β1 0 76

77 Testing That are 2 ways we can think about testing: 1. Building a test statistic... the t-stat, t = b 1 β 0 1 s b1 This quantity measures how many standard deviations the estimate (b 1 ) from the proposed value (β 0 1 ). If the absolute value of t is greater than 2, we need to worry (why?)... we reject the hypothesis. 77

78 Testing 2. Looking at the confidence interval. If the proposed value is outside the confidence interval you reject the hypothesis. Notice that this is equivalent to the t-stat. An absolute value for t greater than 2 implies that the proposed value is outside the confidence interval... therefore reject. This is my preferred approach for the testing problem. You can t go wrong by using the confidence interval 78

79 Example: Mutual Funds Another Example of Conditional Distributions Let s investigate the performance of the Windsor Fund, an aggressive large cap fund by Vanguard... -"./0\$(11#\$2.\$2\$032.."45426\$17\$.8"\$*2.29\$ Applied Regression Analysis ""#\$%%&\$'()*"\$+, The Carlos plot M. Carvalho shows monthly returns for Windsor vs. the S&P500 79

80 Example: Mutual Funds Consider a CAPM regression for the Windsor mutual fund. r w = β 0 + β 1 r sp500 + ɛ Let s first test β 1 = 0 H 0 : β 1 = 0. Is the Windsor fund related to the market? H 1 : β

81 Hypothesis Testing Windsor Fund Example Example: -"./((\$01"\$)2*345\$5"65"33)42\$72\$8\$,9:;< Mutual Funds Applied Regression Analysis Carlos M. Carvalho b s b b s b t = reject β 1 = 0 ""#\$%%%&\$'()*"\$+, the 95% confidence interval is [0.87; 0.99]... again, reject 81

82 Example: Mutual Funds Now let s test β 1 = 1. What does that mean? H 0 : β 1 = 1 Windsor is as risky as the market. H 1 : β 1 1 and Windsor softens or exaggerates market moves. We are asking whether or not Windsor moves in a different way than the market (e.g., is it more conservative?). 82

83 -"./((\$01"\$)2*345\$5"65"33)42\$72\$8\$,9:;< Example: Mutual Funds Applied Regression Analysis Carlos M. Carvalho b s b b s b t = b 1 1 s b1 = = reject. ""#\$%%%&\$'()*"\$+, the 95% confidence interval is [0.87; 0.99]... again, reject, but... 83

84 Testing Why I like Conf. Int. Suppose in testing H 0 : β 1 = 1 you got a t-stat of 6 and the confidence interval was [ , ] Do you reject H 0 : β 1 = 1? Could you justify that to you boss? Probably not (why?) 84

85 Testing Why I like Conf. Int. Now, suppose in testing H 0 : β 1 = 1 you got a t-stat of and the confidence interval was [ 100, 100] Do you accept H 0 : β 1 = 1? Could you justify that to you boss? Probably not (why?) The Confidence Interval is your best friend when it comes to testing 85

86 P-values The p-value provides a measure of how weird your estimate is if the null hypothesis is true Small p-values are evidence against the null hypothesis In the AVG vs. R/G example... H 0 : β 1 = 0. How weird is our estimate of b 1 = 33.57? Remember: b 1 N(β 1, sb 2 1 )... If the null was true (β 1 = 0), b 1 N(0, sb 2 1 ) 86

87 P-values Where is in the picture below? b 1 (if β 1=0) The p-value is the probability of seeing b 1 equal or greater than in absolute terms. Here, p-value= Small p-value = bad null 87

88 P-values H 0 : β 1 = 0... p-value = 1.24E reject SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 30 ANOVA df SS MS F Significance F Regression E- 07 Residual Total Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P- value Lower 95% Upper 95% Intercept AVG E

89 P-values How about H 0 : β 0 = 0? How weird is b 0 = 3.936? b 0 (if β 0=0) The p-value (the probability of seeing b 1 equal or greater than in absolute terms) is Small p-value = bad null 89

90 P-values H 0 : β 0 = 0... p-value = we still reject, but not with the same strength. SUMMARY OUTPUT Regression Statistics Multiple R R Square Adjusted R Square Standard Error Observations 30 ANOVA df SS MS F Significance F Regression E- 07 Residual Total Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P- value Lower 95% Upper 95% Intercept AVG E

91 Testing Summary Large t or small p-value mean the same thing... p-value < 0.05 is equivalent to a t-stat > 2 in absolute value Small p-value means something weird happen if the null hypothesis was true... Bottom line, small p-value REJECT Large t REJECT But remember, always look at the confidence interveal 91

92 Forecasting The conditional forecasting problem: Given covariate X f and sample data {X i, Y i } n i=1, predict the future observation y f. The solution is to use our LS fitted value: Ŷ f = b 0 + b 1 X f. This is the easy bit. The hard (and very important) part of forecasting is assessing uncertainty about our predictions. 92

93 Forecasting The most commonly used approach is to assume that β 0 b 0, β 1 b 1 and σ s... in this case, the error is just ɛ hence the 95% plug-in prediction interval is: b 0 + b 1 X f ± 2 s It s called plug-in because we just plug-in the estimates (b 0, b 1 and s) for the unknown parameters (β 0, β 1 and σ). 93

94 Forecasting Just remember that you are uncertain about b 0 and b 1 As a practical matter if the confidence intervals are big you should be careful Some statistical software will give you a larger (and correct) predictive interval. A large predictive error variance (high uncertainty) comes from Large s (i.e., large ε s). Small n (not enough data). Small s x (not enough observed spread in covariates). Large difference between X f and X. 94

95 Forecasting Price Red lines: prediction intervals Size Green lines: plug-in prediction intervals 95

96 The Importance of Considering and Reporting Uncertainty In 1997 the Red River flooded Grand Forks, ND overtopping its levees with a 54-feet crest. 75% of the homes in the city were damaged or destroyed It was predicted that the rain and the spring melt would lead to a 49-feet crest of the river. The levees were 51-feet high. The Water Services of North Dakota had explicitly avoided communicating the uncertainty in their forecasts as they were afraid the public would loose confidence in their abilities to predict such events. 96

97 The Importance of Considering and Reporting Uncertainty It turns out the prediction interval for the flood was 49ft ± 9ft leading to a 35% probability of the levees being overtopped Should we take the point prediction (49ft) or the interval as an input for a decision problem? In general, the distribution of potential outcomes are very relevant to help us make a decision 97

98 The Importance of Considering and Reporting Uncertainty The answer seems obvious in this example (and it is)... however, you see these things happening all the time as people tend to underplay uncertainty in many situations Why do people not give intervals? Because they are embarrassed Jan Hatzius, Goldman Sachs economists talking about economic forecasts... Don t make this mistake Intervals are your friend and will lead to better decisions 98

99 House Data one more time R 2 = 82% Great R 2, we are happy using this model to predict house prices, right? price size 99

100 House Data one more time But, s = 14 leading to a predictive interval width of about US\$60,000 How do you feel about the model now? As a practical matter, s is a much more relevant quantity than R 2. Once again, intervals are your friend price size 100

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