How I Learned to Think of Business as a Scientific Experiment

Bayesian Reasoning using R (Part 2) : Discrete Inference with Sequential Data
Imagine playing a game in which someone asks you to infer the number of sides of a polyhedron die based on the face numbers that show up in repeated throws of the die. The only information you are given beforehand is that the actual die will be selected from a set of seven die having these number of faces: (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 18). Assuming you can trust the person who reports the outcome on each throw, after how many rolls of the die wil you be willing to specify which die was chosen?
  • 6 November 2018
  • Author: Robert Brown
  • Number of views: 13661
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Gender Inference from a Specimen Measurement

Bayesian Reasoning using R
Imagine that we have a population of something composed of two subset populations that, while distinct from each other, share a common characteristic that can be measured along some kind of scale. Furthermore, let’s assume that each subset population expresses this characteristic with a frequency distribution unique to each. In other words, along the scale of measurement for the characteristic, each subset displays varying levels of the characteristic among its members. Now, we choose a specimen from the larger population in an unbiased manner and measure this characteristic for this specific individual. Are we justified in inferring the subset membership of the specimen based on this measurement alone? Baye’s rule (or theorem), something you may have heard about in this age of exploding data analytics, tells us that we can be so justified as long as we assign a probability (or degree of belief) to our inference. The following discussion provides an interesting way of understanding the process for doing this. More importantly, I present how Baye’s theorem helps us overcome a common thinking failure associated with making inferences from an incomplete treatment of all the information we should use. I’ll use a bit of a fanciful example to convey this understanding along with showing the associated calculations in the R programming language.
  • 28 October 2018
  • Author: Robert Brown
  • Number of views: 14790
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