 Now I have priors on the weights and observations, and I used this to come up with the mean and variance of the posterior on the weights. In this post, I’ll show some cool plots.

## Set up

You can skip to “sampling from the posterior”! This computes V_n again using the code from the last post.

#### Quick aside

Above I plot a 2D array to plot multiple lines, which makes matplotlib create a lot of duplicate labels. I’m not sure if plotting matrix is a bad idea to start with, but I did it anyway and used a helper function to deduplicate labels.

## Sampling from the posterior

Much like how I sampled from the prior, I can sample weights from the posterior. ## Prediction with uncertainty

I can also use V_n to compute the uncertainty of predictions. The prediction is the true function with some added noise:

where $$v \sim \mathcal N(0, \sigma_y^2)$$. With a little math, I can compute the mean and variance of the prediction posterior’s Gaussian distribution. It’s also given in the course notes.

Then I can take the square root of that to get the standard deviation and plot 2 standard deviations from the mean. In code: Neat!

If I zoom out like I do below, it’s clearer that the shaded area is squeezed around the observations. That’s saying there is less uncertainty around where the observations are. That’s intuitive; I should be more certain of my prediction around observations. ### Comparison

The difference between these two plots confused me at first but sorting it out was instructive.

In the first plot, I’m sampling from the distribution of the weights. I hear sampling from the weights’ distribution is not always easy to do. It turns out to be easy when doing Bayesian linear regression using Gaussians for everything.

The second plot shows the distribution of the prediction. This is related to the distribution of the weights (equation from the course notes):

If I look at a single weight sampled from the weight’s posterior, I can plot $$p(y|\mathbf x, \mathbf w)$$ which for each $$\mathbf x$$ is $$\mathcal N(y; \mathbf w^{\top} \mathbf x, \sigma_y^2)$$. If I plot it, I get: To get the prediction, I use the integral, which does a weighted sum (or expectation!) over a bunch (all) of these. Then I get: ### Bonus: basis functions

With linear regression, I can also use basis functions to match even cooler functions. For fun, I tried polynomials by using a different $$\Phi$$. The true function was a quadratic. This shows trying to fit a 5 degree polynomial to it:

model_params = 6  # highest degree + 1
Phi_X_in = np.hstack(X_in**i for i in range(model_params))


Sampling priors gave me lots of squiggles. (It also reminds me of my hair a few years ago!) I can plot the uncertainty. I also can add a few more points from the underlying function and see how it changes. ## See Also

• Still thanks to MLPR!
• I originally posted the bonus here.