Because the Bayes classifier is optimal, the Bayes error is the minimum possible error that can be made. Further, the model is often described in terms of classification, e.g. the Bayes Classifier. Nevertheless, the principle applies just as well to regression: that is, predictive modeling problems where a numerical value is predicted instead of a class label. It is a theoretical model, but it is held up as an ideal that we may wish to pursue. In theory we would always like to predict qualitative responses using the Bayes classifier. But for real data, we do not know the conditional distribution of Y given X, and so computing the Bayes classifier is impossible. Therefore, the Bayes classifier serves as an unattainable gold standard against which to compare other methods.
In this article, I will provide a basic introduction to Bayesian learning and explore topics such as frequentist statistics, the drawbacks of the frequentist method, Bayes's theorem (introduced with an example), and the differences between the frequentist and Bayesian methods using the coin flip experiment as the example. To begin, let's try to answer this question: what is the frequentist method? When we flip a coin, there are two possible outcomes -- heads or tails. Of course, there is a third rare possibility where the coin balances on its edge without falling onto either side, which we assume is not a possible outcome of the coin flip for our discussion. We conduct a series of coin flips and record our observations i.e. the number of the heads (or tails) observed for a certain number of coin flips. In this experiment, we are trying to determine the fairness of the coin, using the number of heads (or tails) that we observe.
Bayes Theorem provides a principled way for calculating a conditional probability. It is a deceptively simple calculation, although it can be used to easily calculate the conditional probability of events where intuition often fails. Bayes Theorem also provides a way for thinking about the evaluation and selection of different models for a given dataset in applied machine learning. Maximizing the probability of a model fitting a dataset is more generally referred to as maximum a posteriori, or MAP for short, and provides a probabilistic framework for predictive modeling. In this post, you will discover Bayes Theorem for calculating conditional probabilities.
Bayes' theorem (alternatively Bayes' law or Bayes' rule) has been called the most powerful rule of probability and statistics. It describes the probability of an event, based on prior knowledge of conditions that might be related to the event. For example, if a disease is related to age, then, using Bayes' theorem, a person's age can be used to more accurately assess the probability that they have the disease, compared to the assessment of the probability of disease made without knowledge of the person's age. It is a powerful law of probability that brings in the concept of'subjectivity' or'the degree of belief' into the cold, hard statistical modeling. Bayes' rule is the only mechanism that can be used to gradually update the probability of an event as the evidence or data is gathered sequentially.
Bayesian Statistics continues to remain incomprehensible in the ignited minds of many analysts. Being amazed by the incredible power of machine learning, a lot of us have become unfaithful to statistics. Our focus has narrowed down to exploring machine learning. We fail to understand that machine learning is only one way to solve real world problems. In several situations, it does not help us solve business problems, even though there is data involved in these problems. To say the least, knowledge of statistics will allow you to work on complex analytical problems, irrespective of the size of data. In 1770s, Thomas Bayes introduced'Bayes Theorem'.