Skip to main content
Nonparametric regression using linear combinations of basis functions
Statistics and Computing (2001)
  • Robert Kohn
  • Michael S Smith, Melbourne Business School
  • D Chan

This paper discusses a Bayesian approach to nonparametric regression initially proposed by Smith and Kohn (1996. Journal of Econometrics 75: 317–344). In this approach the regression function is represented as a linear combination of basis terms. The basis terms can be univariate or multivariate functions and can include polynomials, natural splines and radial basis functions. A Bayesian hierarchical model is used such that the coefficient of each basis term can be zero with positive prior probability. The presence of basis terms in the model is determined by latent indicator variables. The posterior mean is estimated by Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation because it is computationally intractable to compute the posterior mean analytically unless a small number of basis terms is used. The present article updates the work of Smith and Kohn (1996. Journal of Econometrics 75: 317–344) to take account of work by us and others over the last three years. A careful discussion is given to all aspects of the model specification, function estimation and the use of sampling schemes. In particular, new sampling schemes are introduced to carry out the variable selection methodology

  • Bayesian estimation,
  • hierarchical model,
  • Markov chain Monte Carlo,
  • Metropolis-Hastings,
  • Bayesian variable selection
Publication Date
Citation Information
Robert Kohn, Michael S Smith and D Chan. "Nonparametric regression using linear combinations of basis functions" Statistics and Computing Vol. 11 (2001)
Available at: