# Multivariate Normal Distribution Rebecca Jennings, Mary Wakeman-Linn, Xin Zhao November 11, 2010

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1 Multivariate Normal Distribution Rebecca Jeings, Mary Wakeman-Li, Xin Zhao November, 00. Basics. Parameters We say X ~ N n (µ, ) with parameters µ = [E[X ],.E[X n ]] and = Cov[X i X j ] i=..n, j= n. The expected value of X is µ. There is no restriction on µ, but ΣΣ must be at least negative semidefinite, and it must be negative definite in order for a closed form of the pdf to exist. Notice that, unlike the univariate normal, it is not sufficient to include only the variance as a parameter for the multivariate normal. This can be seen with the following example, where both variables have the same mean and variance, but the covariance varies greatly. Covariance = 0 Covariance = 0.9. PDF, CDF, MGF If X is an n-dimensional random vector that has a multivariate normal distribution, then it has the following properties : PDF: (ππ) ΣΣ eeeeee (XX μμ) ΣΣ (XX μμ) ffffff XX εε R CDF: Just like the Univariate Normal, there is no closed form for the cdf, although it can be computed numerically. MGF: eeeeee(tt μμ)eeeeee tt ΣΣtt ffffff aaaaaa tt εε R The pdf is maximized at the expected value, which is analogous to the mode of a univariate random variable. Vectors are denoted in bold and transposed vectors have a prime ( ).

2 . Why do we care?. History The bivariate normal distribution (the two variable version of the multivariate normal) was brought to prominence by Francis Galton (a cousin to Charles Darwin) in order to explain issues of variation between generations brought up by Darwin in On the Origin of Species. In a presentation to the British Association for the Advancement of Science in 885, Galton used multivariate analysis, and the bivariate normal distribution specifically, to examine the relationship between the height of fathers and their eldest adult son. Earlier appearances of the multivariate normal distribution include Robert Adrain in 808 and Laplace in 8.. Applications Early uses of the multivariate normal applied to biological studies, particularly evolution. However, the distribution can be used to examine at the relationship between any number of normally distributed variables. For economists, multivariate distributions are useful because many elements in nature are distributed with a normal distribution and are related to other normally distributed variables. Some economists have used multivariate distributions to model rainfall in adjacent geographic zones in order to examine the effect on agricultural productivity. The multivariate normal distribution can frequently model data gathered from the same individual. For example, we often think that height and weight, when observed on the same individual, are distributed bivariate normal. We could extend this to foot size, or any other number of related physical characteristics, and these measurements together could be modeled as multivariate normal. It can also be used to model measurements that are normally distributed between individuals who are related, which was Galton s use of the distribution. Height, weight, and intelligence are just three examples where we would expect a multivariate normal to satisfactorily model data observed between related individuals..3 Galton s Work Let us consider Galton s study of height of fathers and sons. Galton found that fathers and sons height, F and S respectively, are normally distributed with equal means of 68 inches and variances of 3 inches. He also found that if he only considered fathers of a certain given height, f, the height of sons was normally distributed and that the average height was a linear function of f. In more general terms, this means that if we have two variables that are bivariate normal, say x and y, the conditional distribution of one given the other (X Y) can be represented as a normal distribution where the parameters of X will be functions of the given Y. This result will be explored more thoroughly when we discuss the conditional distribution of the multivariate normal. Further, Galton found that if the father is taller (shorter) than average the son will also be taller (shorter) than average, but that in general, sons will tend more to the average than fathers..4 Multivariate Central Limit Theorem

3 Of particular importance to us is the extension of the Central Limit Theorem for multivariate analysis. We can say that if {X n } is a sequence of iid random vectors with a common mean vector µ and a variance-covariance matrix that is positive definite, we can say that YY = (XX ii μμ) converges in distribution to a N(0, ) distribution. 3 Derivation of Multivariate Normal from Univariate Normal We pause briefly to derive results that are necessary in order to completely discuss the relationship between variables that are multivariate normal. 3. Moment Generating Function Consider the random vector Z = (Z, Z, Z n ) where Z, Z n are iid N(0,). Then the density of Z is the product of the densities of each Z i, and is ff ZZ (zz) = ππ exp zz ii = ππ eeeeee zz ii = ππ eeeeee zz zz ffffff zz εε R Because the Z i s have mean 0, variance, and are uncorrelated, the mean and covariance matrix of Z are EE[ZZ] = 00 and CCCCCC[ZZ] = II where II is the identity matrix of order n. Because the Z i s are independent, the mgf of Z is MM ZZ (tt) = EE[eeeeee(tt ZZ)] = EE eeeeee(tt ii ZZ ii ) = EE[eeeeee(tt ii ZZ ii )] = eeeeee tt ii = eeeeee tt tt We say that Z ~ N n (0, I n ) if Z has the previous mgf and pdf. While this is only for the case when Z is made up of iid N(0,) variables, this result can be used to derive the general case. Let be a positive semidefinite and symmetric nxn matrix. Let µ be a nx vector of constants. Define XX = ΣΣ ZZ + μμ. Then EE[XX] = μμ and CCCCCC[XX] = ΣΣ ΣΣ = ΣΣ. Further, we can find the mgf of X MM XX (tt) = EE eeeeee(tt XX) = EE eeeeee tt ΣΣ ZZ + tt μμ This follows from EE[ZZ] = 00 and a theorem stating that if X = (X, X n ) such that Var(X i ) <, then Cov(AX) = ACov(X)A.

4 = exp(tt μμ) EE eeeeee ΣΣ tt ZZ = exp(tt μμ) exp ΣΣ tt ΣΣ tt 3 = eeeeee(tt μμ)eeeeee tt ΣΣtt 3. PDF Previously we had required that be positive semidefinite, but if it is instead positive definite, then the inverse of both ΣΣ and ΣΣ exist, and we can derive the pdf of X 4. By the previous transformation of XX = ΣΣ ZZ + μμ, we can define the inverse transformation as ZZ = ΣΣ (XX μμ) with Jacobian 5 ΣΣ = ΣΣ. By the transformation method, ff XX (xx) = ff ZZ (zz) ΣΣ. Which gives ff XX (xx) = ΣΣ ππ eeeeee ΣΣ (XX μμ) ΣΣ (XX μμ) = (ππ) ΣΣ eeeeee (XX μμ) ΣΣ (XX μμ) ffffff XX εε R So X ~ N n (µ, ) with µ = [E[X ],.E[X n ]] and = Cov[X i X j ] i=..n, j= n 4 Some Useful results 4. Linear Transform of Multivariate Normal Distribution We can generalize the previous steps to show that a linear transformation of a multivariate normal random vector has a multivariate normal distribution: Suppose X ~ N n (µ, ). Let Y = AX + b where bb ϵ R m and A is an mxn matrix. Then Y ~ N m (Aµ + b, A A ) Marginal Distribution The linear transform result can be used to find the marginal distribution of a multivariate normal distribution. This result is not terribly useful in the bivariate case, but can be useful as the number of variables increases and one wants to examine the distribution of s selection of them. 3 This follows from the fact that E[exp{t Z}] = exp{(/)t t}. 4 The positive definiteness of is required for the pdf to have a functional form, not for the distribution to exist. 5 The Jacobian is the determinant of the first partial derivatives of the inverse transformation. JJ = dddd dddd 6 This follows from the mgf of Y: EE[eeeeee(tttt)] = eeeeee tt (AAAA + bb) + tt AAΣΣAA tt

5 For example, consider a clothing company that wants to release coordinated sets of different types of clothing. If they have data gathered from individuals, they can assume that an individual s observations of height, weight, shoe size, waist size, and other physical measurements will be multivariate normal. However, as they will not need to coordinate all of these observations in order to release their clothing, they would use the marginal distribution of only the variables they care about. Let X be a subvector of X, of dimension m < n. The remainder of X will be the subvector X, with dimension p = n-m. Further, partition the mean and covariance in the same way. XX = XX μμ = μμ XX μμ ΣΣ = ΣΣ ΣΣ ΣΣ ΣΣ is the covariance of X while is the covariance between components of X and X. Define AA = II mm OO mmmm where OO mmmm is an mxp matrix of zeroes. Then X = AX and we can apply the earlier result to say that X ~ N m (µ, ). 4.3 Independence Recall that, in general, independent random variables will have a covariance of 0, but a covariance of 0 does not imply that two random variables are independent. In the case of the multivariate normal distribution, however, we can show that a covariance of 0 does imply independence. Suppose X is divided into subvectors as before. X and X are independent if and only if = O. This result follows from an examination of the joint and marginal mgfs of X and X. The joint mgf is MM XX,XX (tt, tt ) = eeeeee tt μμ + tt μμ + (tt ΣΣ tt + tt ΣΣ tt + tt ΣΣ tt + tt ΣΣ tt ) And the product of their marginal distributions is MM XX (tt )MM XX (tt ) = eeeeee tt μμ + tt μμ + (tt ΣΣ tt + tt ΣΣ tt ) These can clearly only be equal if the covariance between their components are all 0. In other words, only if ΣΣ = OO. 4.4 Conditional Distribution of Multivariate Normal Recall the earlier mention of conditional distribution of a sons heights given fathers. This is a continuation of that discussion. Assume that X is partitioned as above. Assume that is positive definite (so that the pdf has a functional form). Then XX XX ~ NN mm (μμ + ΣΣ ΣΣ (XX μμ ), ΣΣ ΣΣ ΣΣ ΣΣ )

6 5 An example using these results 5. PDF Let s assume that in some population of married couples, the height the husband (H) and wife (W) have a bivariate normal distribution with parameters µ H = 5.8 feet; µ W = 5.3 feet; σ H = σ W = 0. foot; ρ = 0.6 (recall that σσ = ρρσσ σσ ). Accordingly, we can say that (H,W) has a N (µ, ) distribution, where μμ = aaaaaa Σ = ff(h, ww) = ππσσ HH σσ WW ( ρρ ) eeeeee ( ρρ ) h μμ HH σσ HH ρρ h μμ HH σσ HH ww μμ ww σσ WW = + ww μμ WW σσ WW 5.8 eeeeee h 0.05ππ h ww + ww Conditional Distribution Using the previous result, we can see that the conditional pdf of any Y given X = x will be distributed NN μμ YY + ρρ σσ YY σσ XX (xx μμ XX ), σσ YY ( ρρ ) 7 So if we want to find the conditional pdf of W given H = 6.3, we know it is normal with μμ WW = (0.6)( ) = 5.6 and σσ WW = (0.) 0.36 = 0.6 If we wanted to be more general, we could say that WW ~ NN( (HH 5.8), 0.6), where we now have W distributed univariate normal with its mean a function of H. This many not always be useful, as it imposes a sort of one-way causal relationship on a variable that may not be valid. We can now find the probability that the wife has a height between 5.8 and 5.9 feet: PP(5.8 < WW < 5.9 HH = 6.3) = Φ() Φ( ) = Graphs 7 Notice that while the conditional mean of Y depends on the value of x, the variance is the same for all real values of x. Using values from a table of CDF values of the normal distribution, we can say that give X=x, the conditional probability that Y is within(.576)σσ YY ρρ units of the conditional mean is 0.99 no matter the values of x. As ρ approaches we can see that this area shrinks. 8 This can be found using a table of values for the CDF of the standard normal distribution.

7 Because this is a bivariate example, we can look at some graphs of the pdf and the conditional pdf using the parameters given in the problem. Bivariate Normal of H and W Conditional Distribution of W given H = 6.3 What happens to the density function if we change the correlation coefficient to -0.6? As you can see, changing the sign of the correlation coefficient changes the orientation of the density function, but not the general shape. If we triple the standard deviation of H (from 0. to 0.6) we get the following density graph

8 which looks much like the first graph, but consider the H axis. This density is considerably spread. Seen from above and with the same axis, one can more easily see the difference. Standard Deviation of H = 0.6 Standard Deviation of H = 0. What happens if we change the sign of the correlation coefficient? SD of H = 0.6 and correlation = SD of H = 0. and correlation = As you can see, changing the sign of the correlation coefficient changes the orientation of the density function. Correlation tells us of the relationship between the two variables. In this example, a positive correlation tells us we will tend to observe taller husband with taller wives. A negative correlation will mean we tend to observe shorter husbands with taller wives. The size of the correlation coefficient tells us the size of the

9 relationship. A number close to one tells that there is little predictive power in knowing the height of a husband when trying to predict the height of the wife, while a coefficient closer to says that knowing the husband s height gives us a good deal of information about the wife. What about changing the value of the correlation coefficient? When ρ = 0, we get a density function that looks like the combination of two normal, which it should. Correlation = 0 between H and W Seen from above Notice that each individual normal has the mean of the corresponding variable. What about making ρ closer to? Correlation = 0.9 Seen from above

10 So we can see that the correlation coefficient changes the severity of the orientation of the density, not just the direction. 6 Relationship with Chi Squared Hopefully everybody is aware that if X is distributed N(µ, σ ) with σ > 0, then the (XX μμ ) random variable V = is distributed χ (). A similar result can be found for the σσ multivariate normal distribution. Suppose X has a N n (µ, ) distribution where is positive definite.. Then the random variable W = (X - µ) - (X - µ) has a χ () distribution. 9 7 Testing for Multivariate Normalcy While we often assume that variables are either individually or jointly normal, sometimes it is necessary to prove assumptions, and there are tests to see if a vector is distributed normally. In general, it is much easier to determine if a random vector is not distributed multivariate normal than proving that it is. If any of the individual variables have marginal distributions that are not normal, then the random vector caot be distributed multivariate normal. However, the reverse is not true unless the variables are also independent. We can show that if we take two variables that are marginally normal, their joint pdf is not necessarily bivariate normal. For example ff(xx, yy) = eeeeee ππ (xx + yy ) + xxxxxxxxxx (xx + yy ) ffffff xx εε R aaaaaa yy εε R is not bivariate normal, but x and y are both distributed normally. Tests for multivariate normalcy involve testing a null hypothesis of normalcy against an alternative of noormalcy. A sufficiently small p-value will allow the rejection of the null, that the data set is not normal. There are various statistical tests for this, including the Cox-Small test, and an adaptation of the Friedman-Rafsky test. We can see the probability that a given observation is pulled from a multivariate normal distribution by using either the marginal or conditional. For example, given a bivariate normal distribution with μμ xx =.8, μμ yy = 0, σσ xx = 0.6, σσ yy = 00, ρρ = 0.6, the probability that Y is between 06 and 4 is Or, given an value for X, say X = 3., the probability that Y is between 06 and 4 is Thus, using given parameters of a distribution, we can test the probability that any observation is taking from that distribution using various statistical tests at our disposal. 9 This result is derived from the fact that W can be written Z Z where Z ~ N n (0, I n ). From the univariate result, Z i is distibuted χχ () and because the Z i are independent, their sum (which is W) is distributed χχ ().

11 8. Citations: Griffiths, William. A Gibbs Sampler for the Parameters of a Truncated Multivariate Normal Distribution. Contemporary Issues in Economics:Theory and Application, ed. Stan Hurn and Ralph Becker, Edward Elgar Publishing, 004 Hogg, Robert V. and Allen T. Craig. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics. Stigler, Stephen M. Darwin, Galton, and the Statistical Enlightenment. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 73, Part 3, pp , first published online 4 May 00

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