The Hard Truth

  • Kenneth M. Hanson
  • Gregory S. Cunningham
Conference paper
Part of the Fundamental Theories of Physics book series (FTPH, volume 70)


Bayesian methodology provides the means to combine prior knowledge about competing models of reality and available data to draw inferences about the validity of those models. The posterior quantifies the degree of certainty one has about those models. We propose a method to determine the uncertainty in a specific feature of a Bayesian solution. Our approach is based on an analogy between the negative logarithm of the posterior and a physical potential. This analogy leads to the interpretation of gradient of this potential as a force that acts on the model. As model parameters are perturbed from their maximum a posteriori (MAP) values, the strength of the restoring force that drives them back to the MAP solution is directly related to the uncertainty in those parameter estimates. The correlations between the uncertainties of parameter estimates can be elucidated.


Maximum Entropy Negative Logarithm Posterior Probability Distribution Probabilistic Display Physical Potential 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth M. Hanson
    • 1
  • Gregory S. Cunningham
    • 1
  1. 1.Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA

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