Saturday, 10 November 2012

Bayes vs Frequentist

I hate to link to XKCD for the second comic in a row, but the most recent one really struck a chord with me.  While it is a little unfair, it hits what is to me the essential weakness of frequentist statistics: that the standard null-hypothesis rejection only considers how unlikely something is to happen by chance.  In contrast, the Bayesian analysis weighs the different possibilities using prior information.

Also, the willingness of the Bayesian character in the strip to place a bet relates to the characterisation of probability as degrees of belief; intuitive, meaningful in a Bayesian approach, but impossible under a strict frequentist interpretation.

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