contr.equalprior {bayestestR}R Documentation

Contrast Matrices for Equal Marginal Priors in Bayesian Estimation

Description

Build contrasts for factors with equal marginal priors on all levels. The 3 functions give the same orthogonal contrasts, but are scaled differently to allow different prior specifications (see 'Details'). Implementation from Singmann & Gronau's bfrms, following the description in Rouder, Morey, Speckman, & Province (2012, p. 363).

Usage

contr.equalprior(n, contrasts = TRUE, sparse = FALSE)

contr.equalprior_pairs(n, contrasts = TRUE, sparse = FALSE)

contr.equalprior_deviations(n, contrasts = TRUE, sparse = FALSE)

Arguments

n

a vector of levels for a factor, or the number of levels.

contrasts

a logical indicating whether contrasts should be computed.

sparse

logical indicating if the result should be sparse (of class dgCMatrix), using package Matrix.

Details

When using stats::contr.treatment, each dummy variable is the difference between each level and the reference level. While this is useful if setting different priors for each coefficient, it should not be used if one is trying to set a general prior for differences between means, as it (as well as stats::contr.sum and others) results in unequal marginal priors on the means the the difference between them.

library(brms)

data <- data.frame(
  group = factor(rep(LETTERS[1:4], each = 3)),
  y = rnorm(12)
)

contrasts(data$group) # R's default contr.treatment
#>   B C D
#> A 0 0 0
#> B 1 0 0
#> C 0 1 0
#> D 0 0 1

model_prior <- brm(
  y ~ group, data = data,
  sample_prior = "only",
  # Set the same priors on the 3 dummy variable
  # (Using an arbitrary scale)
  prior = set_prior("normal(0, 10)", coef = c("groupB", "groupC", "groupD"))
)

est <- emmeans::emmeans(model_prior, pairwise ~ group)

point_estimate(est, centr = "mean", disp = TRUE)
#> Point Estimate
#>
#> Parameter |  Mean |    SD
#> -------------------------
#> A         | -0.01 |  6.35
#> B         | -0.10 |  9.59
#> C         |  0.11 |  9.55
#> D         | -0.16 |  9.52
#> A - B     |  0.10 |  9.94
#> A - C     | -0.12 |  9.96
#> A - D     |  0.15 |  9.87
#> B - C     | -0.22 | 14.38
#> B - D     |  0.05 | 14.14
#> C - D     |  0.27 | 14.00

We can see that the priors for means aren't all the same (A having a more narrow prior), and likewise for the pairwise differences (priors for differences from A are more narrow).

The solution is to use one of the methods provided here, which do result in marginally equal priors on means differences between them. Though this will obscure the interpretation of parameters, setting equal priors on means and differences is important for they are useful for specifying equal priors on all means in a factor and their differences correct estimation of Bayes factors for contrasts and order restrictions of multi-level factors (where k>2). See info on specifying correct priors for factors with more than 2 levels in the Bayes factors vignette.

NOTE: When setting priors on these dummy variables, always:

  1. Use priors that are centered on 0! Other location/centered priors are meaningless!

  2. Use identically-scaled priors on all the dummy variables of a single factor!

contr.equalprior returns the original orthogonal-normal contrasts as described in Rouder, Morey, Speckman, & Province (2012, p. 363). Setting contrasts = FALSE returns the I_{n} - \frac{1}{n} matrix.

contr.equalprior_pairs

Useful for setting priors in terms of pairwise differences between means - the scales of the priors defines the prior distribution of the pair-wise differences between all pairwise differences (e.g., A - B, B - C, etc.).

contrasts(data$group) <- contr.equalprior_pairs
contrasts(data$group)
#>         [,1]       [,2]       [,3]
#> A  0.0000000  0.6123724  0.0000000
#> B -0.1893048 -0.2041241  0.5454329
#> C -0.3777063 -0.2041241 -0.4366592
#> D  0.5670111 -0.2041241 -0.1087736

model_prior <- brm(
  y ~ group, data = data,
  sample_prior = "only",
  # Set the same priors on the 3 dummy variable
  # (Using an arbitrary scale)
  prior = set_prior("normal(0, 10)", coef = c("group1", "group2", "group3"))
)

est <- emmeans(model_prior, pairwise ~ group)

point_estimate(est, centr = "mean", disp = TRUE)
#> Point Estimate
#>
#> Parameter |  Mean |    SD
#> -------------------------
#> A         | -0.31 |  7.46
#> B         | -0.24 |  7.47
#> C         | -0.34 |  7.50
#> D         | -0.30 |  7.25
#> A - B     | -0.08 | 10.00
#> A - C     |  0.03 | 10.03
#> A - D     | -0.01 |  9.85
#> B - C     |  0.10 | 10.28
#> B - D     |  0.06 |  9.94
#> C - D     | -0.04 | 10.18

All means have the same prior distribution, and the distribution of the differences matches the prior we set of "normal(0, 10)". Success!

contr.equalprior_deviations

Useful for setting priors in terms of the deviations of each mean from the grand mean - the scales of the priors defines the prior distribution of the distance (above, below) the mean of one of the levels might have from the overall mean. (See examples.)

Value

A matrix with n rows and k columns, with k=n-1 if contrasts is TRUE and k=n if contrasts is FALSE.

References

Rouder, J. N., Morey, R. D., Speckman, P. L., & Province, J. M. (2012). Default Bayes factors for ANOVA designs. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 56(5), 356-374. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmp.2012.08.001

Examples

contr.equalprior(2) # Q_2 in Rouder et al. (2012, p. 363)

contr.equalprior(5) # equivalent to Q_5 in Rouder et al. (2012, p. 363)

## check decomposition
Q3 <- contr.equalprior(3)
Q3 %*% t(Q3) ## 2/3 on diagonal and -1/3 on off-diagonal elements

[Package bayestestR version 0.13.0 Index]