The application of robust Bayesian analysis to hypothesis testing and Occam's Razor
Robust Bayesian analysis deals simultaneously with a class of possible prior distributions, instead of a single distribution. This paper concentrates on the surprising results that can be obtained when applying the theory to problems of testing precise hypotheses when the “objective” class of prior distributions is assumed. First, an example is given demonstrating the serious inadequacy of P-values for this problem. Next, it is shown how the approach can provide statistical quantification of Occam's Razor, the famous principle of science that advocates choice of the simpler of two hypothetical explanations of data. Finally, the theory is applied to multinomial testing.
KeywordsBayes factor P-value Occam's Razor Monte-Carlo integration Mercury's perihilion
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