Hierarchical Bayes

This is ‘Not a Research Blog’, but nevertheless some thoughts on, and application of, hierarchical Bayes that are related to what I’ve been posting about here can be found in my recent preprint:

A hierarchical Bayesian framework for understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of the intestinal epithelium

A few comments. I actually wrote essentially all of this about a year ago. The quirks of interdisciplinary research mean, however, that I have only just recently been able to post even a preprint of this work online (data/other manuscript availability issues etc). Some of my views may have changed slightly since then – but probably not overly much (and most of the more different ideas would relate to alternative frameworks rather than modifications of the present approach). Of course the usual delays of publication mean this happens fairly often – yet another reason for using preprints. This was also my first bioRxiv submission (bioRvix is essentially arXiv targeted specifically at biology and biological applications) – it was extremely easy to use and went through screening in less than a day.

This manuscript was also a first attempt to pull together a lot of ideas I’d been playing around with relating to hierarchical models, statistical inference, prediction, evidence, causality, discrete vs continuum mechanistic models, model checking etc, and apply them to a real problem with real data. As such it’s reasonably long, but I think readable enough. In some ways it probably reads more like a textbook, but some might find that useful so I’ve tried to frame that as a positive.

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