21
Mar 23

Full solution to Example 2.15 from the guide ST2134

Full solution to Example 2.15 from the guide ST2134

Students tend to miss the ideas needed for this example for two reasons: in the guide there is a reference to ST104b Statistics 2, which nobody consults, and the short notation U of the statistic conceals the essence.

Recommendation: for the statistic U=T\left( X\right) always use T\left(X\right) rather than U. Similarly, if x=\left( x_{1},...,x_{n}\right) is the observed sample, use T\left( x\right) rather than u.

Example 2.15. Let X=\left( X_{1},X_{2},...,X_{n}\right) be a random sample (meaning i.i.d. variables) from a Pois(\lambda ) distribution, and let U=T(X)=\sum_{n=1}^{n}X_{i}. Show that T\left( X\right) is a sufficient statistic.

Solution. There are two ways to solve this problem. One is to use the definition of a sufficient statistic, and the other is to apply the sufficiency principle. It is a good idea to announce which way you go in the very beginning. We apply the definition, and we have to show that the density of X conditional on T\left( X\right) does not depend on \lambda .

Step 1. The density of X_{i} is p_{X_{i}}\left( x_{i},\lambda \right)=e^{-\lambda }\frac{\lambda ^{x_{i}}}{x_{i}!}, x_{i}=0,1,2,... and by independence
p_{X_{1},...,X_{n}}\left( x_{1},...,x_{n},\lambda \right) =e^{-\lambda }  \frac{\lambda ^{x_{1}}}{x_{1}!}...e^{-\lambda }\frac{\lambda ^{x_{n}}}{x_{n}!  }=e^{-n\lambda }\frac{\lambda ^{\Sigma x_{i}}}{x_{1}!...x_{n}!}.

Step 2. We need to characterize the distribution of S_{n}=\sum_{i=1}^{n}X_{i}, and this is accomplished with the MGF. For one Poisson variable X we have
M_{X}\left( t\right) =Ee^{tX}=\sum_{x=0}^{\infty }e^{tx}e^{-\lambda }  \frac{\lambda ^{x}}{x!}=e^{-\lambda }\sum_{x=0}^{\infty }\frac{\left(  e^{t}\lambda \right) ^{x}}{x!}
=e^{-\lambda }e^{e^{t}\lambda }\sum_{x=0}^{\infty }e^{-e^{t}\lambda }\frac{  \left( e^{t}\lambda \right) ^{x}}{x!}=e^{\lambda \left( e^{t}-1\right) }.
Here we used the completeness axiom \sum_{x=0}^{\infty }e^{-\lambda _{1}}  \frac{\left( \lambda _{1}\right) ^{x}}{x!}=1 with \lambda_{1}=e^{t}\lambda .

Step 3. This result for the sum implies
M_{S_{n}}\left( t\right) =Ee^{t\Sigma X_{i}}=E\left(  e^{tX_{1}}...e^{tX_{n}}\right)=Ee^{tX_{1}}...Ee^{tX_{n}} (by independence)
=\left( Ee^{tX}\right) ^{n} (since X_{1},...,X_{n} have identical distribution)
=e^{n\lambda \left( e^{t}-1\right) } (by Step 2).
By Step 2 we know that X\sim Pois\left( n\lambda \right) implies M_{X}\left( t\right) =e^{n\lambda \left( e^{t}-1\right) }. As we just showed, the MGF of M_{S_{n}} is the same. The uniqueness theorem says:

if random variables X and Y have the same MGF's then their distributions are the same.

It follows that M_{S_{n}}\left( t\right) \sim Pois\left( n\lambda \right) and that
p_{\Sigma X_{i}}\left( \Sigma x_{i},\lambda \right) =e^{-n\lambda }\frac{  \left( n\lambda \right) ^{\Sigma x_{i}}}{\left( \Sigma x_{i}\right) !},\ \Sigma x_{i}=0,1,2,...
(which is written as e^{-n\lambda }\frac{\left( n\lambda \right) ^{u}}{u!} in the guide, and to me this is not transparent).

Step 4. To check that the conditional density does not depend on the parameter, we recall that the conditional density along the level set simplifies to (see Guide, p.30)
P\left( X=x|U=u\right) =\frac{P\left( X=x\right) }{P\left( U=u\right) }
(no joint density in the numerator). In our situation the full expression for the ratio on the right is
\frac{P( X=x) }{P( U=u) } =\frac{p_{X_1,...,X_n}  ( x_1,...,x_n,\lambda ) }{p_{\Sigma X_i}( \Sigma  x_i,\lambda ) }=e^{-n\lambda }\frac{\lambda ^{\Sigma x_i}}{  x_1!...x_n!}\left( e^{-n\lambda }\frac{( n\lambda ) ^{\Sigma  x_i}}{( \Sigma x_i) !}\right) ^{-1}
=\frac{\left( \Sigma x_{i}\right) !}{n^{\Sigma  x_{i}}\prod\nolimits_{i=1}^{n}x_{i}!}.
As there is no \lambda in the result, \sum X_{i} is sufficient for \lambda .

Exercise. Do Example 2.16 from the Guide following this format.

27
Dec 22

Final exam in Advanced Statistics ST2133, 2022

Final exam in Advanced Statistics ST2133, 2022

Unlike most UoL exams, here I tried to relate the theory to practical issues.

KBTU International School of Economics

Compiled by Kairat Mynbaev

The total for this exam is 41 points. You have two hours.

Everywhere provide detailed explanations. When answering please clearly indicate question numbers. You don’t need a calculator. As long as the formula you provide is correct, the numerical value does not matter.

Question 1. (12 points)

a) (2 points) At a casino, two players are playing on slot machines. Their payoffs X,Y are standard normal and independent. Find the joint density of the payoffs.

b) (4 points) Two other players watch the first two players and start to argue what will be larger: the sum U = X + Y or the difference V = X - Y. Find the joint density. Are variables U,V independent? Find their marginal densities.

c) (2 points) Are U,V normal? Why? What are their means and variances?

d) (2 points) Which probability is larger: P(U > V) or P\left( {U < V} \right)?

e) (2 points) In this context interpret the conditional expectation E\left( {U|V = v} \right). How much is it?

Reminder. The density of a normal variable X \sim N\left( {\mu ,{\sigma ^2}} \right) is {f_X}\left( x \right) = \frac{1}{{\sqrt {2\pi {\sigma ^2}} }}{e^{ - \frac{{{{\left( {x - \mu } \right)}^2}}}{{2{\sigma ^2}}}}}.

Question 2. (9 points) The distribution of a call duration X of one Kcell [largest mobile operator in KZ] customer is exponential: {f_X}\left( x \right) = \lambda {e^{ - \lambda x}},\,\,x \ge 0,\,\,{f_X}\left( x \right) = 0,\,\,x < 0. The number N of customers making calls simultaneously is distributed as Poisson: P\left( {N = n} \right) = {e^{ - \mu }}\frac{{{\mu ^n}}}{{n!}},\,\,n = 0,1,2,... Thus the total call duration for all customers is {S_N} = {X_1} + ... + {X_N} for N \ge 1. We put {S_0} = 0. Assume that customers make their decisions about calling independently.

a) (3 points) Find the general formula (when {X_1},...,{X_n} are identically distributed and X,N are independent but not necessarily exponential and Poisson, as above) for the moment generating function of S_N explaining all steps.

b) (3 points) Find the moment generating functions of X, N and {S_N} for your particular distributions.

c) (3 points) Find the mean and variance of {S_N}. Based on the equations you obtained, can you suggest estimators of parameters \lambda ,\mu ?

Remark. Direct observations on the exponential and Poisson distributions are not available. We have to infer their parameters by observing {S_N}. This explains the importance of the technique used in Question 2.

Question 3. (8 points)

a) (2 points) For a non-negative random variable X prove the Markov inequality P\left( {X > c} \right) \le \frac{1}{c}EX,\,\,\,c > 0.

b) (2 points) Prove the Chebyshev inequality P\left( {|X - EX| > c} \right) \le \frac{1}{c^2}Var\left( X \right) for an arbitrary random variable X.

c) (4 points) We say that the sequence of random variables \left\{ X_n \right\} converges in probability to a random variable X if P\left( {|{X_n} - X| > \varepsilon } \right) \to 0 as n \to \infty for any \varepsilon > 0.  Suppose that E{X_n} = \mu for all n and that Var\left(X_n \right) \to 0 as n \to \infty . Prove that then \left\{X_n\right\} converges in probability to \mu .

Remark. Question 3 leads to the simplest example of a law of large numbers: if \left\{ X_n \right\} are i.i.d. with finite variance, then their sample mean converges to their population mean in probability.

Question 4. (8 points)

a) (4 points) Define a distribution function. Give its properties, with intuitive explanations.

b) (4 points) Is a sum of two distribution functions a distribution function? Is a product of two distribution functions a distribution function?

Remark. The answer for part a) is here and the one for part b) is based on it.

Question 5. (4 points) The Rakhat factory prepares prizes for kids for the upcoming New Year event. Each prize contains one type of chocolates and one type of candies. The chocolates and candies are chosen randomly from two production lines, the total number of items is always 10 and all selections are equally likely.

a) (2 points) What proportion of prepared prizes contains three or more chocolates?

b) (2 points) 100 prizes have been sent to an orphanage. What is the probability that 50 of those prizes contain no more than two chocolates?

5
May 22

Vector autoregressions: preliminaries

Vector autoregressions: preliminaries

Suppose we are observing two stocks and their respective returns are x_{t},y_{t}. A vector autoregression for the pair x_{t},y_{t} is one way to take into account their interdependence. This theory is undeservedly omitted from the Guide by A. Patton.

Required minimum in matrix algebra

Matrix notation and summation are very simple.

Matrix multiplication is a little more complex. Make sure to read Global idea 2 and the compatibility rule.

The general approach to study matrices is to compare them to numbers. Here you see the first big No: matrices do not commute, that is, in general AB\neq BA.

The idea behind matrix inversion is pretty simple: we want an analog of the property a\times \frac{1}{a}=1 that holds for numbers.

Some facts about determinants have very complicated proofs and it is best to stay away from them. But a couple of ideas should be clear from the very beginning. Determinants are defined only for square matrices. The relationship of determinants to matrix invertibility explains the role of determinants. If A is square, it is invertible if and only if \det A\neq 0 (this is an equivalent of the condition a\neq 0 for numbers).

Here is an illustration of how determinants are used. Suppose we need to solve the equation AX=Y for X, where A and Y are known. Assuming that \det A\neq 0 we can premultiply the equation by A^{-1} to obtain A^{-1}AX=A^{-1}Y. (Because of lack of commutativity, we need to keep the order of the factors). Using intuitive properties A^{-1}A=I and IX=X we obtain the solution: X=A^{-1}Y. In particular, we see that if \det A\neq 0, then the equation AX=0 has a unique solution X=0.

Let A be a square matrix and let X,Y be two vectors. A,Y are assumed to be known and X is unknown. We want to check that X=\sum_{s=0}^{\infty }A^{s}Y\left( A^{T}\right) ^{s} solves the equation X-AXA^{T}=Y. (Note that for this equation the trick used to solve AX=Y does not work.) Just plug X:

\sum_{s=0}^{\infty }A^{s}Y\left( A^{T}\right) ^{s}-A\sum_{s=0}^{\infty }A^{s}Y\left( A^{T}\right) ^{s}A^{T} =Y+\sum_{s=1}^{\infty }A^{s}Y\left(A^{T}\right) ^{s}-\sum_{s=1}^{\infty }A^{s}Y\left( A^{T}\right) ^{s}=Y

(write out a couple of first terms in the sums if summation signs frighten you).

Transposition is a geometrically simple operation. We need only the property \left( AB\right) ^{T}=B^{T}A^{T}.

Variance and covariance

Property 1. Variance of a random vector X and covariance of two random vectors X,Y are defined by

V\left( X\right) =E\left( X-EX\right) \left( X-EX\right) ^{T}, Cov\left(  X,Y\right) =E\left( X-EX\right) \left( Y-EY\right) ^{T},

respectively.

Note that when EX=0, variance becomes

V\left( X\right) =EXX^{T}=\left(  \begin{array}{ccc}EX_{1}^{2} & ... & EX_{1}X_{n} \\  ... & ... & ... \\  EX_{1}X_{n} & ... & EX_{n}^{2}\end{array}\right) .

Property 2. Let X,Y be random vectors and suppose A,B are constant matrices. We want an analog of V\left( aX+bY\right) =a^{2}V\left( X\right) +2abcov\left( X,Y\right) +b^{2}V\left( X\right) . In the next calculation we have to remember that the multiplication order cannot be changed.

V\left( AX+BY\right) =E\left[ AX+BY-E\left( AX+BY\right) \right] \left[  AX+BY-E\left( AX+BY\right) \right] ^{T}

=E\left[ A\left( X-EX\right) +B\left( Y-EY\right) \right] \left[ A\left(  X-EX\right) +B\left( Y-EY\right) \right] ^{T}

=E\left[ A\left( X-EX\right) \right] \left[ A\left( X-EX\right) \right]  ^{T}+E\left[ B\left( Y-EY\right) \right] \left[ A\left( X-EX\right) \right]  ^{T}

+E\left[ A\left( X-EX\right) \right] \left[ B\left( Y-EY\right) \right]  ^{T}+E\left[ B\left( Y-EY\right) \right] \left[ B\left( Y-EY\right) \right]  ^{T}

(applying \left( AB\right) ^{T}=B^{T}A^{T})

=AE\left( X-EX\right) \left( X-EX\right) ^{T}A^{T}+BE\left( Y-EY\right)  \left( X-EX\right) ^{T}A^{T}

+AE\left( X-EX\right) \left( Y-EY\right) ^{T}B^{T}+BE\left( Y-EY\right)  \left( Y-EY\right) ^{T}B^{T}

=AV\left( X\right) A^{T}+BCov\left( Y,X\right)  A^{T}+ACov(X,Y)B^{T}+BV\left( Y\right) B^{T}.

 

22
Mar 22

Midterm Spring 2022

Blueprint for exam versions

This is the exam I administered in my class in Spring 2022. By replacing the Poisson distribution with other random variables the UoL examiners can obtain a large variety of versions with which to torture Advanced Statistics students. On the other hand, for the students the answers below can be a blueprint to fend off any assaults.

During the semester my students were encouraged to analyze and collect information in documents typed in Scientific Word or LyX. The exam was an open-book online assessment. Papers typed in Scientific Word or LyX were preferred and copying from previous analysis was welcomed. This policy would be my preference if I were to study a subject as complex as Advanced Statistics. The students were given just two hours on the assumption that they had done the preparations diligently. Below I give the model answers right after the questions.

Midterm Spring 2022

You have to clearly state all required theoretical facts. Number all equations that you need to use in later calculations and reference them as necessary. Answer the questions in the order they are asked. When you don't know the answer, leave some space. For each unexplained fact I subtract one point. Put your name in the file name.

In questions 1-9 X is the Poisson variable.

Question 1

Define X and derive the population mean and population variance of the sum S_{n}=\sum_{i=1}^{n}X_{i} where X_{i} is an i.i.d. sample from X.

Answer. X is defined by P\left( X=x\right) =e^{-\lambda }\frac{\lambda ^{x}}{x!},\  x=0,1,... Using EX=\lambda and Var\left( X\right) =\lambda (ST2133 p.80) we have

ES_{n}=\sum EX_{i}=n\lambda , Var\left( S_{n}\right) =\sum V\left(  X_{i}\right) =n\lambda

(by independence and identical distribution). [Some students derived EX=\lambda , Var\left( X\right) =\lambda instead of respective equations for sample means].

Question 2

Derive the MGF of the standardized sample mean.

Answer. Knowing this derivation is a must because it is a combination of three important facts.

a) Let z_{n}=\frac{\bar{X}-E\bar{X}}{\sigma \left( \bar{X}\right) }. Then z_{n}=\frac{nS_{n}-EnS_{n}}{\sigma \left( nS_{n}\right) }=\frac{S_{n}-ES_{n}  }{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }, so standardizing \bar{X} and S_{n} gives the same result.

b) The MGF of S_{n} is expressed through the MGF of X:

M_{S_{n}}\left( t\right)  =Ee^{S_{n}t}=Ee^{X_{1}t+...+X_{n}t}=Ee^{X_{1}t}...e^{X_{n}t}=

(independence) =Ee^{X_{1}t}...Ee^{X_{n}t}= (identical distribution) =\left[ M_{X}\left( t\right) \right] ^{n}.

c) If X is a linear transformation of Y, X=a+bY, then

M_{X}\left( t\right) =Ee^{X}=Ee^{\left( a+bY\right) t}=e^{at}Ee^{Y\left(  bt\right) }=e^{at}M_{Y}\left( bt\right) .

When answering the question we assume any i.i.d. sample from a population with mean \mu and population variance \sigma ^{2}:

Putting in c) a=-\frac{ES_{n}}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }, b=\frac{1}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) } and using a) we get

M_{z_{n}}\left( t\right) =E\exp \left( \frac{S_{n}-ES_{n}}{\sigma \left(  S_{n}\right) }t\right) =e^{-ES_{n}t/\sigma \left( S_{n}\right)  }M_{S_{n}}\left( t/\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) \right)

(using b) and ES_{n}=n\mu , Var\left( S_{n}\right) =n\sigma ^{2})

=e^{-ES_{n}t/\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }\left[ M_{X}\left( t/\sigma \left(  S_{n}\right) \right) \right] ^{n}=e^{-n\mu t/\left( \sqrt{n}\sigma \right) }%  \left[ M_{X}\left( t/\left( \sqrt{n}\sigma \right) \right) \right] ^{n}.

This is a general result which for the Poisson distribution can be specified as follows. From ST2133, example 3.38 we know that M_{X}\left( t\right)=\exp \left( \lambda \left( e^{t}-1\right) \right) . Therefore, we obtain

M_{z_{n}}\left( t\right) =e^{-\sqrt{\lambda }t}\left[ \exp \left( \lambda  \left( e^{t/\left( n\sqrt{\lambda }\right) }-1\right) \right) \right] ^{n}=  e^{-t\sqrt{\lambda }+n\lambda \left( e^{t/\left( n\sqrt{\lambda }\right)  }-1\right) }.

[Instead of M_{z_n} some students gave M_X.]

Question 3

Derive the cumulant generating function of the standardized sample mean.

Answer. Again, there are a couple of useful general facts.

I) Decomposition of MGF around zero. The series e^{x}=\sum_{i=0}^{\infty }  \frac{x^{i}}{i!} leads to

M_{X}\left( t\right) =Ee^{tX}=E\left( \sum_{i=0}^{\infty }\frac{t^{i}X^{i}}{  i!}\right) =\sum_{i=0}^{\infty }\frac{t^{i}}{i!}E\left( X^{i}\right)  =\sum_{i=0}^{\infty }\frac{t^{i}}{i!}\mu _{i}

where \mu _{i}=E\left( X^{i}\right) are moments of X and \mu  _{0}=EX^{0}=1. Differentiating this equation yields

M_{X}^{(k)}\left( t\right) =\sum_{i=k}^{\infty }\frac{t^{i-k}}{\left(  i-k\right) !}\mu _{i}

and setting t=0 gives the rule for finding moments from MGF: \mu  _{k}=M_{X}^{(k)}\left( 0\right) .

II) Decomposition of the cumulant generating function around zero. K_{X}\left( t\right) =\log M_{X}\left( t\right) can also be decomposed into its Taylor series:

K_{X}\left( t\right) =\sum_{i=0}^{\infty }\frac{t^{i}}{i!}\kappa _{i}

where the coefficients \kappa _{i} are called cumulants and can be found using \kappa _{k}=K_{X}^{(k)}\left( 0\right) . Since

K_{X}^{\prime }\left( t\right) =\frac{M_{X}^{\prime }\left( t\right) }{  M_{X}\left( t\right) } and K_{X}^{\prime \prime }\left( t\right) =\frac{  M_{X}^{\prime \prime }\left( t\right) M_{X}\left( t\right) -\left(  M_{X}^{\prime }\left( t\right) \right) ^{2}}{M_{X}^{2}\left( t\right) }

we have

\kappa _{0}=\log M_{X}\left( 0\right) =0, \kappa _{1}=\frac{M_{X}^{\prime  }\left( 0\right) }{M_{X}\left( 0\right) }=\mu _{1},

\kappa _{2}=\mu  _{2}-\mu _{1}^{2}=EX^{2}-\left( EX\right) ^{2}=Var\left( X\right) .

Thus, for any random variable X with mean \mu and variance \sigma ^{2} we have

K_{X}\left( t\right) =\mu t+\frac{\sigma ^{2}t^{2}}{2}+ terms of higher order for t small.

III) If X=a+bY then by c)

K_{X}\left( t\right) =K_{a+bY}\left( t\right) =\log \left[  e^{at}M_{Y}\left( bt\right) \right] =at+K_{X}\left( bt\right) .

IV) By b)

K_{S_{n}}\left( t\right) =\log \left[ M_{X}\left( t\right) \right]  ^{n}=nK_{X}\left( t\right) .

Using III), z_{n}=\frac{S_{n}-ES_{n}}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) } and then IV) we have

K_{z_{n}}\left( t\right) =\frac{-ES_{n}}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }  t+K_{S_{n}}\left( \frac{t}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }\right) =\frac{-ES_{n}  }{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }t+nK_{X}\left( \frac{t}{\sigma \left(  S_{n}\right) }\right) .

For the last term on the right we use the approximation around zero from II):

K_{z_{n}}\left( t\right) =\frac{-ES_{n}}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }  t+nK_{X}\left( \frac{t}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }\right) \approx \frac{  -ES_{n}}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }t+n\mu \frac{t}{\sigma \left(  S_{n}\right) }+n\frac{\sigma ^{2}}{2}\left( \frac{t}{\sigma \left(  S_{n}\right) }\right) ^{2}

=-\frac{n\mu }{\sqrt{n}\sigma }t+n\mu \frac{t}{\sqrt{n}\sigma }+n\frac{  \sigma ^{2}}{2}\left( \frac{t}{\sigma \left( S_{n}\right) }\right)  ^{2}=t^{2}/2.

[Important. Why the above steps are necessary? Passing from the series M_{X}\left( t\right) =\sum_{i=0}^{\infty }\frac{t^{i}}{i!}\mu _{i} to the series for K_{X}\left( t\right) =\log M_{X}\left( t\right) is not straightforward and can easily lead to errors. It is not advisable in case of the Poisson to derive K_{z_{n}} from M_{z_{n}}\left( t\right) = e^{-t  \sqrt{\lambda }+n\lambda \left( e^{t/\left( n\sqrt{\lambda }\right)  }-1\right) }.]

Question 4

Prove the central limit theorem using the cumulant generating function you obtained.

Answer. In the previous question we proved that around zero

K_{z_{n}}\left( t\right) \rightarrow \frac{t^{2}}{2}.

This implies that

(1) M_{z_{n}}\left( t\right) \rightarrow e^{t^{2}/2} for each t around zero.

But we know that for a standard normal X its MGF is M_{X}\left( t\right)  =\exp \left( \mu t+\frac{\sigma ^{2}t^{2}}{2}\right) (ST2133 example 3.42) and hence for the standard normal

(2) M_{z}\left( t\right) =e^{t^{2}/2}.

Theorem (link between pointwise convergence of MGFs of \left\{  X_{n}\right\} and convergence in distribution of \left\{ X_{n}\right\} ) Let \left\{ X_{n}\right\} be a sequence of random variables and let X be some random variable. If M_{X_{n}}\left( t\right) converges for each t from a neighborhood of zero to M_{X}\left( t\right), then X_{n} converges in distribution to X.

Using (1), (2) and this theorem we finish the proof that z_{n} converges in distribution to the standard normal, which is the central limit theorem.

Question 5

State the factorization theorem and apply it to show that U=\sum_{i=1}^{n}X_{i} is a sufficient statistic.

Answer. The solution is given on p.180 of ST2134. For x_{i}=1,...,n the joint density is

(3) f_{X}\left( x,\lambda \right) =\prod\limits_{i=1}^{n}e^{-\lambda }  \frac{\lambda ^{x_{i}}}{x_{i}!}=\frac{\lambda ^{\Sigma x_{i}}e^{-n\lambda }}{\Pi _{i=1}^{n}x_{i}!}.

To satisfy the Fisher-Neyman factorization theorem set

g\left( \sum x_{i},\lambda \right) =\lambda ^{\Sigma x_{i}e^{-n\lambda }},\ h\left( x\right) =\frac{1}{\Pi _{i=1}^{n}x_{i}!}

and then we see that \sum x_{i} is a sufficient statistic for \lambda .

Question 6

Find a minimal sufficient statistic for \lambda stating all necessary theoretical facts.

AnswerCharacterization of minimal sufficiency A statistic T\left(  X\right) is minimal sufficient if and only if level sets of T coincide with sets on which the ratio f_{X}\left( x,\theta \right) /f_{X}\left(  y,\theta \right) does not depend on \theta .

From (3)

f_{X}\left( x,\lambda \right) /f_{X}\left( y,\lambda \right) =\frac{\lambda  ^{\Sigma x_{i}}e^{-n\lambda }}{\Pi _{i=1}^{n}x_{i}!}\left[ \frac{\lambda  ^{\Sigma y_{i}}e^{-n\lambda }}{\Pi _{i=1}^{n}y_{i}!}\right] ^{-1}=\lambda ^{  \left[ \Sigma x_{i}-\Sigma y_{i}\right] }\frac{\Pi _{i=1}^{n}y_{i}!}{\Pi  _{i=1}^{n}x_{i}!}.

The expression on the right does not depend on \lambda if and only of \Sigma x_{i}=\Sigma y_{i}0. The last condition describes level sets of T\left( X\right) =\sum X_{i}. Thus it is minimal sufficient.

Question 7

Find the Method of Moments estimator of the population mean.

Answer. The idea of the method is to take some populational property (for example, EX=\lambda ) and replace the population characteristic (in this case EX) by its sample analog (\bar{X}) to obtain a MM estimator. In our case \hat{\lambda}_{MM}=  \bar{X}. [Try to do this for the Gamma distribution].

Question 8

Find the Fisher information.

Answer. From Problem 5 the log-likelihood is

l_{X}\left( \lambda ,x\right) =-n\lambda +\sum x_{i}\log \lambda -\sum \log  \left( x_{i}!\right) .

Hence the score function is (see Example 2.30 in ST2134)

s_{X}\left( \lambda ,x\right) =\frac{\partial }{\partial \lambda }  l_{X}\left( \lambda ,x\right) =-n+\frac{1}{\lambda }\sum x_{i}.

Then

\frac{\partial ^{2}}{\partial \lambda ^{2}}l_{X}\left( \lambda ,x\right) =-  \frac{1}{\lambda ^{2}}\sum x_{i}

and the Fisher information is

I_{X}\left( \lambda \right) =-E\left( \frac{\partial ^{2}}{\partial \lambda  ^{2}}l_{X}\left( \lambda ,x\right) \right) =\frac{1}{\lambda ^{2}}E\sum  X_{i}=\frac{n\lambda }{\lambda ^{2}}=\frac{n}{\lambda }.

Question 9

Derive the Cramer-Rao lower bound for V\left( \bar{X}\right) for a random sample.

Answer. (See Example 3.17 in ST2134) Since \bar{X} is an unbiased estimator of \lambda by Problem 1, from the Cramer-Rao theorem we know that

V\left( \bar{X}\right) \geq \frac{1}{I_{X}\left( \lambda \right) }=\frac{  \lambda }{n}

and in fact by Problem 1 this lower bound is attained.

19
Feb 22

Estimation of parameters of a normal distribution

Estimation of parameters of a normal distribution

Here we show that the knowledge of the distribution of s^{2} for linear regression allows one to do without long calculations contained in the guide ST 2134 by J. Abdey.

Theorem. Let y_{1},...,y_{n} be independent observations from N\left( \mu,\sigma ^{2}\right) . 1) s^{2}\left( n-1\right) /\sigma ^{2} is distributed as \chi _{n-1}^{2}. 2) The estimators \bar{y} and s^{2} are independent. 3) Es^{2}=\sigma ^{2}, 4) Var\left( s^{2}\right) =\frac{2\sigma ^{4}}{n-1}, 5) \frac{s^{2}-\sigma ^{2}}{\sqrt{2\sigma ^{4}/\left(n-1\right) }} converges in distribution to N\left( 0,1\right) .

Proof. We can write y_{i}=\mu +e_{i} where e_{i} is distributed as N\left( 0,\sigma ^{2}\right) . Putting \beta =\mu ,\ y=\left(y_{1},...,y_{n}\right) ^{T}, e=\left( e_{1},...,e_{n}\right) ^{T} and X=\left( 1,...,1\right) ^{T} (a vector of ones) we satisfy (1) and (2). Since X^{T}X=n, we have \hat{\beta}=\bar{y}. Further,

r\equiv y-X\hat{  \beta}=\left( y_{1}-\bar{y},...,y_{n}-\bar{y}\right) ^{T}

and

s^{2}=\left\Vert r\right\Vert ^{2}/\left( n-1\right) =\sum_{i=1}^{n}\left(  y_{i}-\bar{y}\right) ^{2}/\left( n-1\right) .

Thus 1) and 2) follow from results for linear regression.

3) For a normal variable X its moment generating function is M_{X}\left( t\right) =\exp \left(\mu t+\frac{1}{2}\sigma ^{2}t^{2}\right) (see Guide ST2133, 2021, p.88). For the standard normal we get

M_{z}^{\prime }\left( t\right) =\exp \left(  \frac{1}{2}t^{2}\right) t, M_{z}^{\prime \prime }\left( t\right) =\exp \left( \frac{1}{2}t^{2}\right) (t^{2}+1),

M_{z}^{\prime \prime \prime}\left( t\right) =\exp \left( \frac{1}{2}t^{2}\right) (t^{3}+2t+t), M_{z}^{(4)}\left( t\right) =\exp \left( \frac{1}{2}t^{2}\right)  (t^{4}+6t^{2}+3).

Applying the general property EX^{r}=M_{X}^{\left(  r\right) }\left( 0\right) (same guide, p.84) we see that

Ez=0, Ez^{2}=1, Ez^{3}=0, Ez^{4}=3,

Var(z)=1, Var\left( z^{2}\right) =Ez^{4}-\left( Ez^{2}\right)  ^{2}=3-1=2.

Therefore

Es^{2}=\frac{\sigma ^{2}}{n-1}E\left( z_{1}^{2}+...+z_{n-1}^{2}\right) =\frac{\sigma ^{2}}{n-1}\left( n-1\right) =\sigma ^{2}.

4) By independence of standard normals

Var\left( s^{2}\right) = \left(\frac{\sigma ^{2}}{n-1}\right) ^{2}\left[ Var\left( z_{1}^{2}\right)  +...+Var\left( z_{n-1}^{2}\right) \right] =\frac{\sigma ^{4}}{\left(  n-1\right) ^{2}}2\left( n-1\right) =\frac{2\sigma ^{4}}{n-1}.

5) By standardizing s^{2} we have \frac{s^{2}-Es^{2}}{\sigma \left(s^{2}\right) }=\frac{s^{2}-\sigma ^{2}}{\sqrt{2\sigma ^{4}/\left( n-1\right) }} and this converges in distribution to N\left( 0,1\right) by the central limit theorem.

 

19
Feb 22

Distribution of the estimator of the error variance

Distribution of the estimator of the error variance

If you are reading the book by Dougherty: this post is about the distribution of the estimator  s^2 defined in Chapter 3.

Consider regression

(1) y=X\beta +e

where the deterministic matrix X is of size n\times k, satisfies \det  \left( X^{T}X\right) \neq 0 (regressors are not collinear) and the error e satisfies

(2) Ee=0,Var(e)=\sigma ^{2}I

\beta is estimated by \hat{\beta}=(X^{T}X)^{-1}X^{T}y. Denote P=X(X^{T}X)^{-1}X^{T}, Q=I-P. Using (1) we see that \hat{\beta}=\beta +(X^{T}X)^{-1}X^{T}e and the residual r\equiv y-X\hat{\beta}=Qe. \sigma^{2} is estimated by

(3) s^{2}=\left\Vert r\right\Vert ^{2}/\left( n-k\right) =\left\Vert  Qe\right\Vert ^{2}/\left( n-k\right) .

Q is a projector and has properties which are derived from those of P

(4) Q^{T}=Q, Q^{2}=Q.

If \lambda is an eigenvalue of Q, then multiplying Qx=\lambda x by Q and using the fact that x\neq 0 we get \lambda ^{2}=\lambda . Hence eigenvalues of Q can be only 0 or 1. The equation tr\left( Q\right) =n-k
tells us that the number of eigenvalues equal to 1 is n-k and the remaining k are zeros. Let Q=U\Lambda U^{T} be the diagonal representation of Q. Here U is an orthogonal matrix,

(5) U^{T}U=I,

and \Lambda is a diagonal matrix with eigenvalues of Q on the main diagonal. We can assume that the first n-k numbers on the diagonal of Q are ones and the others are zeros.

Theorem. Let e be normal. 1) s^{2}\left( n-k\right) /\sigma ^{2} is distributed as \chi _{n-k}^{2}. 2) The estimators \hat{\beta} and s^{2} are independent.

Proof. 1) We have by (4)

(6) \left\Vert Qe\right\Vert ^{2}=\left( Qe\right) ^{T}Qe=\left(  Q^{T}Qe\right) ^{T}e=\left( Qe\right) ^{T}e=\left( U\Lambda U^{T}e\right)  ^{T}e=\left( \Lambda U^{T}e\right) ^{T}U^{T}e.

Denote S=U^{T}e. From (2) and (5)

ES=0, Var\left( S\right) =EU^{T}ee^{T}U=\sigma ^{2}U^{T}U=\sigma ^{2}I

and S is normal as a linear transformation of a normal vector. It follows that S=\sigma z where z is a standard normal vector with independent standard normal coordinates z_{1},...,z_{n}. Hence, (6) implies

(7) \left\Vert Qe\right\Vert ^{2}=\sigma ^{2}\left( \Lambda z\right)  ^{T}z=\sigma ^{2}\left( z_{1}^{2}+...+z_{n-k}^{2}\right) =\sigma ^{2}\chi  _{n-k}^{2}.

(3) and (7) prove the first statement.

2) First we note that the vectors Pe,Qe are independent. Since they are normal, their independence follows from

cov(Pe,Qe)=EPee^{T}Q^{T}=\sigma ^{2}PQ=0.

It's easy to see that X^{T}P=X^{T}. This allows us to show that \hat{\beta} is a function of Pe:

\hat{\beta}=\beta +(X^{T}X)^{-1}X^{T}e=\beta +(X^{T}X)^{-1}X^{T}Pe.

Independence of Pe,Qe leads to independence of their functions \hat{\beta} and s^{2}.

 

5
Feb 22

Sufficiency and minimal sufficiency

Sufficiency and minimal sufficiency

Sufficient statistic

I find that in the notation of a statistic it is better to reflect the dependence on the argument. So I write T\left( X\right) for a statistic, where X is a sample, instead of a faceless U or V.

Definition 1. The statistic T\left( X\right) is called sufficient for the parameter \theta if the distribution of X conditional on T\left( X\right) does not depend on \theta .

The main results on sufficiency and minimal sufficiency become transparent if we look at them from the point of view of Maximum Likelihood (ML) estimation.

Let f_{X}\left( x,\theta \right) be the joint density of the vector X=\left( X_{1},...,X_{n}\right) , where \theta is a parameter (possibly a vector). The ML estimator is obtained by maximizing over \theta the function f_{X}\left( x,\theta \right) with x=\left(x_{1},...,x_{n}\right) fixed at the observed data. The estimator depends on the data and can be denoted \hat{\theta}_{ML}\left( x\right) .

Fisher-Neyman theorem. T\left( X\right) is sufficient for \theta if and only if the joint density can be represented as

(1) f_{X}\left( x,\theta \right) =g\left( T\left( x\right) ,\theta \right) k\left( x\right)

where, as the notation suggests, g depends on x only through T\left(x\right) and k does not depend on \theta .

Maximizing the left side of (1) is the same thing as maximizing g\left(T\left( x\right) ,\theta \right) because k does not depend on \theta . But this means that \hat{\theta}_{ML}\left( x\right) depends on x only through T\left( x\right) . A sufficient statistic is all you need to find the ML estimator. This interpretation is easier to understand than the definition of sufficiency.

Minimal sufficient statistic

Definition 2. A sufficient statistic T\left( X\right) is called minimal sufficient if for any other statistic S\left( X\right) there exists a function g such that T\left( X\right) =g\left( S\left( X\right) \right) .

A level set is a set of type \left\{ x:T\left( x\right) =c\right\} , for a constant c (which in general can be a constant vector). See the visualization of level sets.  A level set is also called a preimage and denoted T^{-1}\left( c\right) =\left\{ x:T\left(x\right) =c\right\} . When T is one-to-one the preimage contains just one point. When T is not one-to-one the preimage contains more than one point. The wider it is the less information about the sample carries the statistic (because many data sets are mapped to a single point and you cannot tell one data set from another by looking at the statistic value). This is illustrated by the following example.

Example 1. On the plane R^2 define two statistics: U_1(X)=(X_1,X_2) and  U_2(X)=(X_1+X_2)/2 . For  U_1 the level set  \{U_1(x)=c=(c_1,c_2)\},\ c\in R^2 , consists of just one point and knowing the statistic value is equivalent to knowing the whole sample. For  U_2 the level set  \{U_2(x)=c\},\ c\in R is a straight line. If we know  U_2 , we know the sample mean but not the separate observations.

In the definition of the minimal sufficient statistic we have

\left\{x:T\left( X\right) =c\right\} =\left\{ x:g\left( S\left( X\right) \right)=c\right\} =\left\{ x:S\left( X\right) \in g^{-1}\left( c\right) \right\} .

Since g^{-1}\left( c\right) generally contains more than one point, this shows that the level sets of T\left( X\right) are generally wider than those of S\left( X\right) . Since this is true for any S\left( X\right) , T\left( X\right) carries less information about X than any other statistic.

Definition 2 is an existence statement and is difficult to verify directly as there are words "for any" and "exists". Again it's better to relate it to ML estimation.

Suppose for two sets of data x,y there is a positive number k\left(x,y\right) such that

(2) f_{X}\left( x,\theta \right) =k\left( x,y\right) f_{X}\left( y,\theta\right) .

Maximizing the left side we get the estimator \hat{\theta}_{ML}\left(x\right) . Maximizing f_{X}\left( y,\theta \right) we get \hat{\theta}_{ML}\left( y\right) . Since k\left( x,y\right) does not depend on \theta , (2) tells us that

\hat{\theta}_{ML}\left( x\right) =\hat{\theta}_{ML}\left( y\right) .

Thus, if two sets of data x,y satisfy (2), the ML method cannot distinguish between x and y and supplies the same estimator. Let us call x,y indistinguishable if there is a positive number k\left( x,y\right) such that (2) is true.

An equation T\left( x\right) =T\left( y\right) means that x,y belong to the same level set.

Characterization of minimal sufficiency. A statistic T\left( X\right) is minimal sufficient if and only if its level sets coincide with sets of indistinguishable x,y.

The advantage of this formulation is that it relates a geometric notion of level sets to the ML estimator properties. The formulation in the guide by J. Abdey is:

A statistic T\left( X\right) is minimal sufficient if and only if the equality T\left( x\right) =T\left( y\right) is equivalent to (2).

Rewriting (2) as

(3) f_{X}\left( x,\theta \right) /f_{X}\left( y,\theta \right) =k\left(x,y\right)

we get a practical way of finding a minimal sufficient statistic: form the ratio on the left of (3) and find the sets along which the ratio does not depend on \theta . Those sets will be level sets of T\left( X\right) .

28
Dec 21

Chi-squared distribution

Chi-squared distribution

This post is intended to close a gap in J. Abdey's guide ST2133, which is absence of distributions widely used in Econometrics.

Chi-squared with one degree of freedom

Let X be a random variable and let Y=X^{2}.

Question 1. What is the link between the distribution functions of Y and X?

Chart 1. Inverting a square function

Chart 1. Inverting a square function

The start is simple: just follow the definitions. F_{Y}\left( y\right)=P\left( Y\leq y\right) =P\left( X^{2}\leq y\right) . Assuming that y>0, on Chart 1 we see that \left\{ x:x^{2}\leq y\right\} =\left\{x: -\sqrt{y}\leq x\leq \sqrt{y}\right\} . Hence, using additivity of probability,

(1) F_{Y}\left( y\right) =P\left( -\sqrt{y}\leq X\leq \sqrt{y}\right)  =P\left( X\leq \sqrt{y}\right) -P\left( X<-\sqrt{y}\right)

=F_{X}\left( \sqrt{y}\right) -F_{X}\left( -\sqrt{y}\right) .

The last transition is based on the assumption that P\left( X<x  \right) =P\left( X\leq x\right) , for all x, which is maintained for continuous random variables throughout the guide by Abdey.

Question 2. What is the link between the densities of X and Y=X^{2}? By the Leibniz integral rule (1) implies

(2) f_{Y}\left( y\right) =f_{X}\left( \sqrt{y}\right) \frac{1}{2\sqrt{y}}  +f_{X}\left( -\sqrt{y}\right) \frac{1}{2\sqrt{y}}.

Exercise. Assuming that g is an increasing differentiable function with the inverse h and Y=g(X) answer questions similar to 1 and 2.

See the definition of \chi _{1}^{2}. Just applying (2) to X=z and   Y=z^{2}=\chi _{1}^{2} we get

f_{\chi _{1}^{2}}\left( y\right) =\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi }}e^{-y/2}\frac{1}{2  \sqrt{y}}+\frac{1}{\sqrt{2\pi }}e^{-y/2}\frac{1}{2\sqrt{y}}=\frac{1}{\sqrt{  2\pi }}y^{1/2-1}e^{-y/2},\ y>0.

Since \Gamma \left( 1/2\right) =\sqrt{\pi }, the procedure for identifying the gamma distribution gives

f_{\chi _{1}^{2}}\left( x\right) =\frac{1}{\Gamma \left( 1/2\right) }\left(  1/2\right) ^{1/2}x^{1/2-1}e^{-x/2}=f_{1/2,1/2}\left( x\right) .

We have derived the density of the chi-squared variable with one degree of freedom, see also Example 3.52, J. Abdey, Guide ST2133.

General chi-squared

For \chi _{n}^{2}=z_{1}^{2}+...+z_{n}^{2} with independent standard normals z_{1},...,z_{n} we can write \chi _{n}^{2}=\chi _{1}^{2}+...+\chi _{1}^{2} where the chi-squared variables on the right are independent and all have one degree of freedom. This is because deterministic (here quadratic) functions of independent variables are independent.

Recall that the gamma density is closed under convolutions with the same \alpha . Then by the convolution theorem we get

f_{\chi _{n}^{2}}=f_{\chi _{1}^{2}}\ast ...\ast f_{\chi  _{1}^{2}}=f_{1/2,1/2}\ast ...\ast f_{1/2,1/2} =f_{1/2,n/2}=\frac{1}{\Gamma \left( n/2\right) 2^{n/2}}x^{n/2-1}e^{-x/2}.
27
Dec 21

Gamma distribution

Gamma distribution

Definition. The gamma distribution Gamma\left( \alpha ,\nu \right) is a two-parametric family of densities. For \alpha >0,\nu >0 the density is defined by

f_{\alpha ,\nu }\left( x\right) =\frac{1}{\Gamma \left( \nu \right) }\alpha  ^{\nu }x^{\nu -1}e^{-\alpha x},\ x>0; f_{\alpha ,\nu }\left( x\right) =0,\ x<0.

Obviously, you need to know what is a gamma function. My notation of the parameters follows Feller, W. An Introduction to Probability Theory and its Applications, Volume II, 2nd edition (1971). It is different from the one used by J. Abdey in his guide ST2133.

Property 1

It is really a density because

\frac{1}{\Gamma \left( \nu \right) }\alpha ^{\nu }\int_{0}^{\infty }x^{\nu  -1}e^{-\alpha x}dx= (replace \alpha x=t)

=\frac{1}{\Gamma \left( \nu \right) }\alpha ^{\nu }\int_{0}^{\infty }t^{\nu  -1}\alpha ^{1-\nu -1}e^{-t}dt=1.

Suppose you see an expression x^{a}e^{-bx} and need to determine which gamma density this is. The power of the exponent gives you \alpha =b and the power of x gives you \nu =a+1. It follows that the normalizing constant should be \frac{1}{\Gamma \left( a+1\right) }b^{a+1} and the density is \frac{1}{\Gamma \left( a+1\right) }b^{a+1}x^{a}e^{-bx}, x>0.

Property 2

The most important property is that the family of gamma densities with the same \alpha is closed under convolutions. Because of the associativity property f_{X}\ast f_{Y}\ast f_{Z}=\left( f_{X}\ast f_{Y}\right) \ast f_{Z} it is enough to prove this for the case of two gamma densities.

First we want to prove

(1) \left( f_{\alpha ,\mu }\ast f_{\alpha ,\nu }\right) \left( x\right) =  \frac{\Gamma \left( \mu +\nu \right) }{\Gamma \left( \mu \right) \Gamma  \left( \nu \right) }\int_{0}^{1}\left( 1-t\right) ^{\mu -1}t^{\nu  -1}dt\times f_{\alpha ,\mu +\nu }(x).

Start with the general definition of convolution and recall where the density vanishes:

\left( f_{\alpha ,\mu }\ast f_{\alpha ,\nu }\right) \left( x\right)  =\int_{-\infty }^{\infty }f_{\alpha ,\mu }\left( x-y\right) f_{\alpha ,\nu  }\left( y\right) dy=\int_{0}^{x}f_{\alpha ,\mu }\left( x-y\right) f_{\alpha  ,\nu }\left( y\right) dy

(plug the densities and take out the constants)

=\int_{0}^{x}\left[ \frac{1}{\Gamma \left( \mu \right) }\alpha ^{\mu  }\left( x-y\right) ^{\mu -1}e^{-\alpha \left( x-y\right) }\right] \left[  \frac{1}{\Gamma \left( \nu \right) }\alpha ^{\nu }y^{\nu -1}e^{-\alpha y}  \right] dy
=\frac{\alpha ^{\mu +\nu }e^{-\alpha x}}{\Gamma \left( \mu \right) \Gamma  \left( \nu \right) }\int_{0}^{x}\left( x-y\right) ^{\mu -1}y^{\nu -1}dy

(replace y=xt)

=\frac{\Gamma \left( \mu +\nu \right) }{\Gamma \left( \mu \right) \Gamma  \left( \nu \right) }\frac{\alpha ^{\mu +\nu }x^{\mu +\nu -1}e^{-\alpha x}}{  \Gamma \left( \mu +\nu \right) }\int_{0}^{1}\left( 1-t\right) ^{\mu  -1}t^{\nu -1}dt
=\frac{\Gamma \left( \mu +\nu \right) }{\Gamma \left( \mu \right) \Gamma  \left( \nu \right) }\int_{0}^{1}\left( 1-t\right) ^{\mu -1}t^{\nu  -1}dt\times f_{\alpha ,\mu +\nu }\left( x\right).

Thus (1) is true. Integrating it we have

\int_{R}\left( f_{\alpha ,\mu }\ast f_{\alpha ,\nu }\right) \left( x\right)  dx=\frac{\Gamma \left( \mu +\nu \right) }{\Gamma \left( \mu \right) \Gamma  \left( \nu \right) }\int_{0}^{1}\left( 1-t\right) ^{\mu -1}t^{\nu  -1}dt\times \int_{R}f_{\alpha ,\mu +\nu }\left( x\right) dx.

We know that the convolution of two densities is a density. Therefore the last equation implies

\frac{\Gamma \left( \mu +\nu \right) }{\Gamma \left( \mu \right) \Gamma  \left( \nu \right) }\int_{0}^{1}\left( 1-t\right) ^{\mu -1}t^{\nu -1}dt=1

and

f_{\alpha ,\mu }\ast f_{\alpha ,\nu }=f_{\alpha ,\mu +\nu },\ \mu ,\nu >0.

Alternative proof. The moment generating function of a sum of two independent beta distributions with the same \alpha shows that this sum is again a beta distribution with the same \alpha, see pp. 141, 209 in the guide ST2133.

26
Dec 21

Gamma function

Gamma function

The gamma function and gamma distribution are two different things. This post is about the former and is a preparatory step to study the latter.

Definition. The gamma function is defined by

\Gamma \left( t\right) =\int_{0}^{\infty }x^{t-1}e^{-x}dx,\ t> 0.

The integrand f(t)=x^{t-1}e^{-x} is smooth on \left( 0,\infty \right) , so its integrability is determined by its behavior at \infty and 0. Because of the exponent, it is integrable in the neighborhood of \infty . The singularity at 0 is integrable if t>0. In all calculations involving the gamma function one should remember that its argument should be positive.

Properties

1) Factorial-like property. Integration by parts shows that

\Gamma \left( t\right) =-\int_{0}^{\infty }x^{t-1}\left( e^{-x}\right)  ^{\prime }dx=-x^{t-1}e^{-x}|_{0}^{\infty }+\left( t-1\right)  \int_{0}^{\infty }x^{t-2}e^{-x}dx

=\left( t-1\right) \Gamma \left( t-1\right) if t>1.

2) \Gamma \left( 1\right) =1 because \int_{0}^{\infty }e^{-x}dx=1.

3) Combining the first two properties we see that for a natural n

\Gamma \left( n+1\right) =n\Gamma ( n) =...=n\times \left(  n-1\right) ...\times 1\times \Gamma \left( 1\right) =n!

Thus the gamma function extends the factorial to non-integer t>0.

4) \Gamma \left( 1/2\right) =\sqrt{\pi }.

Indeed, using the density f_{z} of the standard normal z we see that

\Gamma \left( 1/2\right) =\int_{0}^{\infty }x^{-1/2}e^{-x}dx=

(replacing x^{1/2}=u)

=\int_{0}^{\infty }\frac{1}{u}e^{-u^{2}}2udu=2\int_{0}^{\infty  }e^{-u^{2}}du=\int_{-\infty }^{\infty }e^{-u^{2}}du=

(replacing u=z/\sqrt{2})

=\frac{\sqrt{\pi }}{\sqrt{2\pi }}\int_{-\infty }^{\infty }e^{-z^{2}/2}dz=  \sqrt{\pi }\int_{R}f_{z}\left( t\right) dt=\sqrt{\pi }.

Many other properties are not required in this course.