Bayesian Analysis

The Evidentiary Credible Region

David Shalloway

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Many disparate definitions of Bayesian credible intervals and regions are in use, which can lead to ambiguous presentation of results. It is particularly unsatisfactory when intervals are specified that do not match the one-sided character of the evidence. We suggest that a sensible resolution is to use the parameterization-independent region that maximizes the information gain between the initial prior and posterior distributions, as assessed by their Kullback-Leibler divergence, subject to the constraint on included posterior probability. This turns out to be equivalent to the relative surprise region previously defined by Evans (1997), and thus provides information theoretic support for its use. We also show that this region is the constrained optimizer over the posterior measure of any strictly monotonic function of the likelihood, which explains its many optimal properties, and that it is guaranteed to be consistent with the sidedness of the evidence. Because all of its equivalent derivations depend on the evidence as well as on the posterior distribution, we suggest that it be called the evidentiary credible region.

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Bayesian Anal. Volume 9, Number 4 (2014), 909-922.

First available in Project Euclid: 21 November 2014

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credible region credible interval highest posterior density parameterization invariance Kullback-Leibler information gain relative surprise region


Shalloway, David. The Evidentiary Credible Region. Bayesian Anal. 9 (2014), no. 4, 909--922. doi:10.1214/14-BA883.

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