# Function basis and regression

In the first part of the course on linear models, we’ve seen how to construct a linear model when the vector of covariates $\boldsymbol{x}$ is given, so that $\mathbb{E}(Y|\boldsymbol{X}=\boldsymbol{x})$ is either simply $\boldsymbol{x}^\top\boldsymbol{\beta}$ (for standard linear models) or a functional of $\boldsymbol{x}^\top\boldsymbol{\beta}$ (in GLMs). But more generally, we can consider transformations of the covariates, so that a linear model can be used. In a very general setting, consider $$\sum_{j=1}^m\beta_j h_j(\boldsymbol{x})$$with $h_j:\mathbb{R}^p\rightarrow\mathbb{R}$. The standard linear model is obtained when $m=p$ and $h_j(\boldsymbol{x})=x_j$ , but of course, much more general models can be obtained, for instance with $h_k(\boldsymbol{x})=x_j^2$ or $h_k(\boldsymbol{x})=x_{j}x_{j'}$, that could be used to achieve high-order Taylor expansions. In that case, we will obtain the polynomial regression, that we will discuss first. We might also think of piecewise constant functions, $h_k(\boldsymbol{x})=\boldsymbol{1}(x_j\in [a,b])$ , that could be related to regression trees (but that is not in the scope in the STT5100 course). And if we go on step futher, we might think of piecewise linear or piecewise polynomial function, possibly with additional continuity constraints, that will lead us to spline basis.

• Polynomial regression

For pedagogical purpose, when I talk about polynomial regression, I always have in mind (in the univariate case) $$y=\beta_0+\beta_1x+\beta_2x^2+\cdots+\beta_kx^k+\varepsilon$$but if we use

lm(y~poly(x,k))

in R, the output is not the $\beta_j$‘s.

As discussed in Kennedy & Gentle (1980) Statistical Computing,

Recall that orthogonal polynomials are defined with respect to the classical inner-product (on the finite interval $(a,b)$)$${\displaystyle \langle f,g\rangle =\int _{a}^{b}f(x)g(x)~\mathrm {d} x}$$ And a sequence of orthogonal polynomials is $(P_n)$ where $P_n$ is a polynomial of degree $n$, for all $n$, and such that $P_m\perp P_n$ for all $m\neq n$. Note that those polyomials are orthogonal with respect to the inner product defined above, i.e. given some finite interval $(a,b)$. But if $(a,b)$ changes, the polynomials will be different.

A popular family of orthogonal polynomial, on finite interval $(-1,+1)$ is the family of Legendre polynomials, satisfying$${\displaystyle \int _{-1}^{1}P_{m}(x)P_{n}(x)~\mathrm {d} x=0}$$as soon as $m\neq n$. Those polynomials satisfy Bonnet’s recursion formula$${\displaystyle (n+1)P_{n+1}(x)=(2n+1)xP_{n}(x)-nP_{n-1}(x)}$$ or Rodrigues’ formula $${\displaystyle P_{n}(x)={\frac {1}{2^{n}n!}}{\frac {d^{n}}{dx^{n}}}(x^{2}-1)^{n}}$$The first values are here$${\displaystyle P_{0}(x)=1}$$$${\displaystyle P_{1}(x)=x}$$$${\displaystyle P_{2}(x)={\frac {3x^{2}-1}{2}}}$$$${\displaystyle P_{3}(x)={\frac {5x^{3}-3x}{2}}}$$$${\displaystyle P_{4}(x)={\frac {35x^{4}-30x^{2}+3}{8}}}$$

Interestingly, we can get those polynomial functions using

library(orthopolynom) (leg4coef = legendre.polynomials(n=4)) [[1]] 1   [[2]] x   [[3]] -0.5 + 1.5*x^2   [[4]] -1.5*x + 2.5*x^3   [[5]] 0.375 - 3.75*x^2 + 4.375*x^4

Of course, there are many families of orthogonal polynomials (Jacobi polynomials, Laguerre polynomials, Hermite polynomials, etc). Now, in R, there is the standard poly function, that we use in polynomial regression.

x = seq(-1,1,length=101) y = poly(x,4) y 1 2 3 4 [1,] -1.706475e-01 0.215984813 -2.480753e-01 0.270362873 [2,] -1.672345e-01 0.203025724 -2.183063e-01 0.216290298 ... [100,] 1.672345e-01 0.203025724 2.183063e-01 0.216290298 [101,] 1.706475e-01 0.215984813 2.480753e-01 0.270362873 attr(,"coefs") attr(,"coefs")$alpha [1] 3.157229e-17 2.655145e-16 9.799244e-17 5.368224e-16 attr(,"coefs")$norm2 [1] 1.0000000 101.0000000 34.3400000 9.3377328 2.4472330 0.6330176   attr(,"degree") [1] 1 2 3 4 attr(,"class") [1] "poly" "matrix"

But these are not Legendre polynomials… As explained in 李哲源‘s post on stackoverflow, the idea is to start with $P_{-1}(x)=0$, $P_{0}(x)=1$ and $P_{1}(x)=x$, and then define $\ell_n=\langle P_n,P_n\rangle$  as well as $\alpha_n=\langle P_nP_1,P_1\rangle/\ell_n=\langle P_n^2,P_1\rangle/\ell_i=$ and $\beta_n=\ell_n/\ell_{n-1}$. Finally, define recursively$${\displaystyle P_{n}(x)=(x-\alpha_{n-1})P_{n-1}(x)-\beta_{i-1}P_{i-2}(x)}$$and its normalized version, $\tilde{P}_{n}=P_n/\sqrt{\ell_n}$. That is what poly computes.

So, for pedagogical purpose, I said that I like to use $y=\boldsymbol{x}^\top\boldsymbol{\beta}+\varepsilon$ where$$\boldsymbol{x}=(1,x,x^2,\cdots,xˆ{k-1},x^k)$$And actually, when using poly, we use the QR decomposition of that matrix. As discussed in in 李哲源‘s post, we can almost reproduce the poly function using

my_poly - function (x, degree = 1) { xbar = mean(x) x = x - xbar QR = qr(outer(x, 0:degree, "^")) X = qr.qy(QR, diag(diag(QR$qr), length(x), degree + 1))[, -1, drop = FALSE] X2 = X * X norm2 = colSums(X * X) alpha = drop(crossprod(X2, x)) / norm2 beta = norm2 / (c(length(x), norm2[-degree])) colnames(X) = 1:degree scale = sqrt(norm2) X = X * rep(1 / scale, each = length(x)) X} Nevertheless, the two models are equivalent. More precisely, plot(cars) reg1 = lm(dist~speed+I(speed^2)+I(speed^3),data=cars) reg2 = lm(dist~poly(speed,3),data=cars) u = seq(3,26,by=.1) v1 = predict(reg1,newdata=data.frame(speed=u)) v2 = predict(reg2,newdata=data.frame(speed=u)) lines(u,v1,col="blue") lines(u,v2,col="red",lty=2) We have exactly the same prediction here v1[u==15] 121 38.43919 v2[u==15] 121 38.43919 And probably also quite interesting : the coefficients do not have the same interpretation (since we do not have the same basis), but the $p$-value for the highest degree is exactly the same here ! Here the two models reject, with the same confidence, the polynomial of degree three, summary(reg1) Coefficients: Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(&gt;|t|) (Intercept) -19.50505 28.40530 -0.687 0.496 speed 6.80111 6.80113 1.000 0.323 I(speed^2) -0.34966 0.49988 -0.699 0.488 I(speed^3) 0.01025 0.01130 0.907 0.369 Residual standard error: 15.2 on 46 degrees of freedom Multiple R-squared: 0.6732, Adjusted R-squared: 0.6519 F-statistic: 31.58 on 3 and 46 DF, p-value: 3.074e-11 summary(reg2) Coefficients: Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(&gt;|t|) (Intercept) 42.98 2.15 19.988 &lt; 2e-16 *** poly(speed, 3)1 145.55 15.21 9.573 1.6e-12 *** poly(speed, 3)2 23.00 15.21 1.512 0.137 poly(speed, 3)3 13.80 15.21 0.907 0.369 --- Signif. codes: 0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1 Residual standard error: 15.2 on 46 degrees of freedom Multiple R-squared: 0.6732, Adjusted R-squared: 0.6519 F-statistic: 31.58 on 3 and 46 DF, p-value: 3.074e-11 • B-splines regression (and GAMs) Splines are also important in regression models, especially when we start talking about Generalized Additive Models. See Perperoglou, Sauerbrei, Abrahamowicz & Schmid (2019) for a review. In the univariate case, I introduce (linear) splines through positive parts, in the sense that$$y=\beta_0+\beta_1x+\beta_2(x-s_1)_++\cdots+\beta_k(x-s_{k-1})_++\varepsilon$$where $(x-s)_+$ equals $0$ if $x and $x-s$ if $x>s$. Those functions are nice since they are continuous, so the model is continuous (the weighted sum of continuous functions is continuous). And we can go one step further, with $$y=\beta_0+\beta_1x+\beta_2x^2+\beta_3(x-s_1)^2_++\cdots+\beta_k(x-s_{k-2})^2_++\varepsilon$$with quadratic splines, or $$y=\beta_0+\beta_1x+\beta_2x^2+\beta_3x^3+\beta_4(x-s_1)^3_++\cdots+\beta_k(x-s_{k-3})^3_++\varepsilon$$for cubic splines. Interestingly, quadratic splines are not only continuous, but their first derivative is also continuous (and the second one for cubic splines). So the knot discontinuity is $s_1,s_2,\cdots$ is now invisible… I like those models since they are easy to interprete. For example, the simple model $$\beta_1 x+\beta_2(x-s)_+$$ is the following piecewise linear function, continuous, with a “rupture” at knot $s$. Observe also the following interpretation: for small values of $x$, there is a linear increase, with slope $\beta_1$, and for lager values of $x$, there is a linear decrease, with slope $\beta_1+\beta_2$. Hence, $\beta_2$ is interpreted as a change of the slope. Unfortunately, it is now what R is using when using the bs function in R, which are the standard B-splines. Just to visualize (I will skip the maths here), with R, we have library(splines) clr6 = c("#1b9e77","#d95f02","#7570b3","#e7298a","#66a61e","#e6ab02") x = seq(5,25,by=.25) B = bs(x,knots=c(10,20),Boundary.knots=c(5,55),degre=1) matplot(x,B,type="l",lty=1,lwd=2,col=clr6) B=bs(x,knots=c(10,20),Boundary.knots=c(5,55),degre=2) matplot(x,B,type="l",col=clr6,lty=1,lwd=2) while the functions I mentioned were (more or less) the following pos = function(x,s) (x-s)*(x&gt;s) par(mfrow=c(1,2)) clr6 = c("#1b9e77","#d95f02","#7570b3","#e7298a","#66a61e","#e6ab02") x = seq(5,25,by=.25) B = cbind(pos(x,5),pos(x,10),pos(x,20)) matplot(x,B,type="l",lty=1,lwd=2,col=clr6) pos2 = function(x,s) (x-s)^2*(x&gt;s) B = cbind(pos(x,5)*20,pos2(x,5),pos2(x,10),pos2(x,20)) matplot(x,B,type="l",col=clr6,lty=1,lwd=2) And as for the polynomial regression, the two models are equivalent. For example plot(cars) reg1 = lm(dist~speed+pos(speed,10)+pos(speed,20),data=cars) reg2 = lm(dist~bs(speed,degree=1,knots=c(10,20)),data=cars) v1 = predict(reg1,newdata=data.frame(speed=u)) v2 = predict(reg2,newdata=data.frame(speed=u)) lines(u,v1,col="blue") lines(u,v2,col="red",lty=2) or more specifically v1[u==15] 121 39.35747 v2[u==15] 121 39.35747 So one more time, the two models are equivalent, but I still find the approach with the positive part more intuitive, and easy to understand. As well as the interpretation of coefficients, summary(reg1) Coefficients: Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(&gt;|t|) (Intercept) -7.6305 16.2941 -0.468 0.6418 speed 3.0630 1.8238 1.679 0.0998 . pos(speed, 10) 0.2087 2.2453 0.093 0.9263 pos(speed, 20) 4.2812 2.2843 1.874 0.0673 . --- Signif. codes: 0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1 Residual standard error: 15 on 46 degrees of freedom Multiple R-squared: 0.6821, Adjusted R-squared: 0.6613 F-statistic: 32.89 on 3 and 46 DF, p-value: 1.643e-11 summary(reg2) Coefficients: Estimate Std. Error t value Pr(&gt;|t|) (Intercept) 4.621 9.344 0.495 0.6233 bs(speed, degree = 1, knots = c(10, 20))1 18.378 10.943 1.679 0.0998 . bs(speed, degree = 1, knots = c(10, 20))2 51.094 10.040 5.089 6.51e-06 *** bs(speed, degree = 1, knots = c(10, 20))3 88.859 12.047 7.376 2.49e-09 *** --- Signif. codes: 0 ‘***’ 0.001 ‘**’ 0.01 ‘*’ 0.05 ‘.’ 0.1 ‘ ’ 1 Residual standard error: 15 on 46 degrees of freedom Multiple R-squared: 0.6821, Adjusted R-squared: 0.6613 F-statistic: 32.89 on 3 and 46 DF, p-value: 1.643e-11 Here we can see directly that the first knot was not interesting (the slope did not change significantly) while the second one was… # Some heuristics about spline smoothing Let us continue our discussion on smoothing techniques in regression. Assume that .$\mathbb{E}(Y\vert X=x)=h(x)$ where $h(\cdot)$ is some unkown function, but assumed to be sufficently smooth. For instance, assume that $h(\cdot)$ is continuous, that $h'(\cdot)$ exists, and is continuous, that $h''(\cdot)$ exists and is also continuous, etc. If $h(\cdot)$ is smooth enough, Taylor’s expansion can be used. Hence, for $x\in(\alpha,\beta)$ $h(x)=h(\alpha)+\sum_{k=1}^ d \frac{(x-\alpha)^k}{k!}h^{(k)}(x_0)+\frac{1}{d!}\int_{\alpha}^x [x-t]^d h^{(d+1)}(t)dt$ which can also be writen as $h(x)=\sum_{k=0}^ d a_k (x-\alpha)^k +\frac{1}{d!}\int_{\alpha}^x [x-t]^d h^{(d+1)}(t)dt$ for some $a_k$‘s. The first part is simply a polynomial. The second part, is some integral. Using Riemann integral, observe that $\frac{1}{d!}\int_{\alpha}^x [x-t]^d h^{(d+1)}(t)dt\sim \sum_{i=1}^ j b_i (x-x_i)_+^d$ for some $b_i$‘s, and some $\alpha < x_1< x_2< \cdots < x_{j-1} < x_j < \beta$ Thus, $h(x) \sim \sum_{k=0}^ d a_k (x-\alpha)^k +\sum_{i=1}^ j b_i (x-x_i)_+^d$ Nice! We have our linear regression model. A natural idea is then to consider a regression of $Y$ on $\boldsymbol{X}$ where $\boldsymbol{X} = (1,X,X^2,\cdots,X^d,(X-x_1)_+^d,\cdots,(X-x_k)_+^d )$ given some knots $\{x_1,\cdots,x_k\}$. To make things easier to understand, let us work with our previous dataset, plot(db) If we consider one knot, and an expansion of order 1, attach(db) library(splines) B=bs(xr,knots=c(3),Boundary.knots=c(0,10),degre=1) reg=lm(yr~B) lines(xr[xr<=3],predict(reg)[xr<=3],col="red") lines(xr[xr>=3],predict(reg)[xr>=3],col="blue") The prediction obtained with this spline can be compared with regressions on subsets (the doted lines) reg=lm(yr~xr,subset=xr<=3) lines(xr[xr<=3],predict(reg)[xr<=3],col="red",lty=2) reg=lm(yr~xr,subset=xr>=3) lines(xr[xr>=3],predict(reg),col="blue",lty=2) It is different, since we have here three parameters (and not four, as for the regressions on the two subsets). One degree of freedom is lost, when asking for a continuous model. Observe that it is possible to write, equivalently reg=lm(yr~bs(xr,knots=c(3),Boundary.knots=c(0,10),degre=1),data=db) So, what happened here? B=bs(xr,knots=c(2,5),Boundary.knots=c(0,10),degre=1) matplot(xr,B,type="l") abline(v=c(0,2,5,10),lty=2) Here, the functions that appear in the regression are the following Now, if we run the regression on those two components, we get B=bs(xr,knots=c(2,5),Boundary.knots=c(0,10),degre=1) matplot(xr,B,type="l") abline(v=c(0,2,5,10),lty=2) If we add one knot, we get the prediction is reg=lm(yr~B) lines(xr,predict(reg),col="red") Of course, we can choose much more knots, B=bs(xr,knots=1:9,Boundary.knots=c(0,10),degre=1) reg=lm(yr~B) lines(xr,predict(reg),col="red") We can even get a confidence interval reg=lm(yr~B) P=predict(reg,interval="confidence") plot(db,col="white") polygon(c(xr,rev(xr)),c(P[,2],rev(P[,3])),col="light blue",border=NA) points(db) reg=lm(yr~B) lines(xr,P[,1],col="red") abline(v=c(0,2,5,10),lty=2) And if we keep the two knots we chose previously, but consider Taylor’s expansion of order 2, we get B=bs(xr,knots=c(2,5),Boundary.knots=c(0,10),degre=2) matplot(xr,B,type="l") abline(v=c(0,2,5,10),lty=2) So, what’s going on? If we consider the constant, and the first component of the spline based matrix, we get k=2 plot(db) B=cbind(1,B) lines(xr,B[,1:k]%*%coefficients(reg)[1:k],col=k-1,lty=k-1) If we add the constant term, the first term and the second term, we get the part on the left, before the first knot, k=3 lines(xr,B[,1:k]%*%coefficients(reg)[1:k],col=k-1,lty=k-1) and with three terms from the spline based matrix, we can get the part between the two knots, k=4 lines(xr,B[,1:k]%*%coefficients(reg)[1:k],col=k-1,lty=k-1) and finallty, when we sum all the terms, we get this time the part on the right, after the last knot, k=5 lines(xr,B[,1:k]%*%coefficients(reg)[1:k],col=k-1,lty=k-1) This is what we get using a spline regression, quadratic, with two (fixed) knots. And can can even get confidence intervals, as before reg=lm(yr~B) P=predict(reg,interval="confidence") plot(db,col="white") polygon(c(xr,rev(xr)),c(P[,2],rev(P[,3])),col="light blue",border=NA) points(db) reg=lm(yr~B) lines(xr,P[,1],col="red") abline(v=c(0,2,5,10),lty=2) The great idea here is to use functions $(x-x_i)_+$, that will insure continuity at point $x_i$. Of course, we can use those splines on our Dexter application, Here again, using linear spline function, it is possible to impose a continuity constraint, plot(data$no,data$mu,ylim=c(6,10)) abline(v=12*(0:8)+.5,lty=2) reg=lm(mu~bs(no,knots=c(12*(1:7)+.5),Boundary.knots=c(0,97), degre=1),data=db) lines(c(1:94,96),predict(reg),col="red") But we can also consider some quadratic splines, plot(data$no,data\$mu,ylim=c(6,10))
abline(v=12*(0:8)+.5,lty=2)
reg=lm(mu~bs(no,knots=c(12*(1:7)+.5),Boundary.knots=c(0,97),
degre=2),data=db)
lines(c(1:94,96),predict(reg),col="red")