the evidence approximation

(1 hours to learn)


The evidence approximation is an approximation to Bayesian parameter estimation and model comparison. Rather than integrating out model hyperparameters, the hyperparameters chosen to maximize the marginal likelihood of the data.


This concept has the prerequisites:

Core resources (read/watch one of the following)


Supplemental resources (the following are optional, but you may find them useful)


See also

  • The evidence approximation requires integrating out the model parameters. Variational Bayes gives a way of doing this.
  • An alternative to the evidence approximation is to define a prior over the hyperparameters and integrate them out. This is an instance of hierarchical Bayesian modeling .
  • The evidence approximation can be computed exactly in the case of Gaussian processes.