Skip to main content

A cautionary note on using the scale prior for the parameter N of a binomial distribution

Villa, Cristiano (2014) A cautionary note on using the scale prior for the parameter N of a binomial distribution. Ecology, 95 (9). pp. 2674-2677. ISSN 0012-9658. (KAR id:47159)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Click to download this file (568kB)
[thumbnail of Binomial_Draft.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format


Statistical analysis of ecological data may require the estimation of the size of a population, or of the number of species with a certain population. This task frequently reduces to estimating the discrete parameter N representing the number of trials in a binomial distribution. In Bayesian methods, there has been a substantial amount of discussion on how to select the prior for N. We propose a prior for N based on an objective measure of the worth that each value of N has in being included in the model space. This prior is compared (through the analysis of the popular snowshoe hare dataset) with the scale prior which, in our opinion, cannot be understood from solid objective considerations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: abundance, binomial, Kullback--Leibler divergence, loss function, objective prior
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA276 Mathematical statistics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science
Depositing User: Cristiano Villa
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2015 16:21 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 06:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.