Editor's note: The following is an interview with Columbia University Professor Andrew Gelman conducted by Marketing scientist Kevin Gray, in which Gelman spells out the ABCs of Bayesian statistics. Kevin Gray: Most marketing researchers have heard of Bayesian statistics but know little about it. Can you briefly explain in layperson's terms what it is and how it differs from the'ordinary' statistics most of us learned in college? Andrew Gelman: Bayesian statistics uses the mathematical rules of probability to combines data with "prior information" to give inferences which (if the model being used is correct) are more precise than would be obtained by either source of information alone. Classical statistical methods avoid prior distributions.

Federated learning platforms are gaining popularity. One of the major benefits is to mitigate the privacy risks as the learning of algorithms can be achieved without collecting or sharing data. While federated learning (i.e., many based on stochastic gradient algorithms) has shown great promise, there are still many challenging problems in protecting privacy, especially during the process of gradients update and exchange. This paper presents the first gradient-free federated learning framework called GRAFFL for learning a Bayesian generative model based on approximate Bayesian computation. Unlike conventional federated learning algorithms based on gradients, our framework does not require to disassemble a model (i.e., to linear components) or to perturb data (or encryption of data for aggregation) to preserve privacy. Instead, this framework uses implicit information derived from each participating institution to learn posterior distributions of parameters. The implicit information is summary statistics derived from SuffiAE that is a neural network developed in this study to create compressed and linearly separable representations thereby protecting sensitive information from leakage. As a sufficient dimensionality reduction technique, this is proved to provide sufficient summary statistics. We propose the GRAFFL-based Bayesian Gaussian mixture model to serve as a proof-of-concept of the framework. Using several datasets, we demonstrated the feasibility and usefulness of our model in terms of privacy protection and prediction performance (i.e., close to an ideal setting). The trained model as a quasi-global model can generate informative samples involving information from other institutions and enhances data analysis of each institution.

This text provides R tutorials on statistics including hypothesis testing, ANOVA and linear regressions. It fulfills popular demands by users of r-tutor.com for exercise solutions and offline access. Part III of the text is about Bayesian statistics. It begins with closed analytic solutions and basic BUGS models for simple examples. Then it covers OpenBUGS for Bayesian ANOVA and regression analysis.

I did a webcast earlier today about Bayesian statistics. Some time in the next week, the video should be available from O'Reilly. In the meantime, you can see my slides here: And here's a transcript of what I said: Thanks everyone for joining me for this webcast. At the bottom of this slide you can see the URL for my slides, so you can follow along at home. I'm Allen Downey and I'm a professor at Olin College, which is a new engineering college right outside Boston. Our mission is to fix engineering education, and one of the ways I'm working on that is by teaching Bayesian statistics. Bayesian methods have been the victim of a 200 year smear campaign. If you are interested in the history and the people involved, I recommend this book, The Theory That Would Not Die.

Editor's note: The following is an interview with Columbia University Professor Andrew Gelman conducted by Marketing scientist Kevin Gray, in which Gelman spells out the ABCs of Bayesian statistics. Andrew Gelman: Bayesian statistics uses the mathematical rules of probability to combines data with "prior information" to give inferences which (if the model being used is correct) are more precise than would be obtained by either source of information alone. Classical statistical methods avoid prior distributions. In classical statistics, you might include in your model a predictor (for example), or you might exclude it, or you might pool it as part of some larger set of predictors in order to get a more stable estimate. These are pretty much your only choices.